Final Foundation of web 2.0 – Pattern Eight: Lightweight Models and Cost-Effective Scalability “Ebay”

This final pattern is all about implementing a model that is able to adapt to a cost effective process that is able to deliver a cheaper product with less than required resources. While with the free flowing nature that web 2.0 development provides, there is greater chance of improved ROI and ability to scale with the demands caused by network effects. is one of the pioneers of the internet age. From its humble beginnings as a server in a living room in 1995, that could handle a max number of 50,000 active items. To its now global empire in auction sites, that sees eBay having local versions of the site in 33 different countries. What has made this possible is the way in which eBay has been able to cope with the evolving demand of its user, as well as meeting is business strategy goals. Ebay is working off a horizontal scaling technique, as opposed to adding more power to single machines they are spreading out for parallel computing to serve the data. At present they have 16,000 application servers into 220 different pools. Having pools allows them to break up each pool and access the resources and requirements individually2. This practice is the same for the databases
This practice is the same for the eBay databases, with 1000 logical databases, on 400 physical hosts, it is a very cost and resource effective approach to scaling the eBay servers. A new approach eBay has taken to is in v3 most of the eBay site has been ported into java, as it has the advantages of scaling better than the previous c++ coding, yet still keep the core functionality the same. has an excellent roundup of eBays infrastructure has an excellent roundup of eBays infrastructure

The eBay API and affiliate programs is another example of a best practice by eBay, as it partners as well as users to build from eBay infrastructure onto their own website. As the main incentive for sellers is that they have the ability to earn extra money for providing these extra links. Not to mention to advantage of providing a easy approach for new businesses to start up selling on the internet. Ebay’s main revenue model is getting a listing fee and a percentage of the total sale of an item. Advertising on the site is carried out through eBay itself, as the adds are targeted towards its users.

Ebays efforts have highlighted the notion that if you build your product or services on a platform that is easily able to scale , as the demands for web 2.0 solutions are only to get more demanding as more users use the system. Where smaller lightweight scaling technologies reduce the strain on IT support and infrastructure, while having the advantages of building in additional models (revenue, affiliate programs) when required.

Foundation of web 2.0 Series
Pattern Eight: Lightweight Model and Cost Effective Scalability “eBay”
Pattern Seven: Leveraging the Long Tail “Audible”
Pattern Six: Perpetual Beta “Dropbox”

Pattern Five: Software Above the level of a Single Device

Pattern Four: Rich User Experience “Google Docs”
Pattern Three: Innovation in Assembly “Google Maps”
Pattern Two: Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’ “Flickr”
Pattern One: Harnessing Collective Intelligence “Digg”

1 comment so far

  1. alyssa on

    mastering web 2.0 can really help dominate a business.

    It can help you earn more money the usual if done the right way

    great tips thanks for sharing.

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