How does Yahoo! do it?

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

How does yahoo arrange so much of space for millions of user accounts?

HOW YAHOO MANAGE the space require for millions of user accounts do they add it by physically (hard drives)or they manage the free space of the existing users for a new user like if u have free space of 1 gb in urs account they use it in a logical or technical manner

DO U THINK ITS POSSIBLE for them to put so much of gbs”s when the immense amount of requests of “FREE” user accounts comes up nd up

Yes, they do “add it physically”; but rather than adding hard drives to one mega-server, they add new servers. For example, when you log into Yahoo! Mail, you get redirected to something like CC.fX.mail.yahoo.com, where CC is a two-letter country code and X is a number. Each “CC.fX” prefix corresponds to a different physical machine, so your account can reside on us.f250.mail.yahoo.com, while mine can be on us.f440.mail.yahoo.com…

Is there a limit to Yahoo!’s storage capacity? Not really, since the system operates on multiple machines and can have as many machines as necessary.

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