cool hit counter eBay builds its own design servers, open source by year's end_Intefrankly

eBay builds its own design servers, open source by year's end

eBay Inc. has made significant progress in its two-year project to revamp its information technology infrastructure, announcing today that it has completed building its own specially designed servers and will open source the hardware design by the end of the year.

The company began work on a "redesigned platform" back in July 2016. The plan is to build its own hardware and AI engines, decentralize data center clusters, and switch to edge computing architectures that can better leverage open source technologies.

eBay said at the time that the infrastructure revamp would help itself with new technologies like Kubernetes, Envoy Proxy, MongoDB and Apache Kafka that would make its e-commerce platform more efficient, flexible and scalable.

In a blog post today, Mazen Rawashdeh, eBay's vice president of platform engineering and technology, said it took the company just nine months to build and deploy the custom servers. The executive explained that when other companies undertake similar projects, they often take years to complete. However, he added, eBay completed the work in a "very short time" and without any additional costs.

We systematically looked at each layer of our own technology stack and carefully analyzed efficiencies, capabilities, and opportunities to improve existing solutions," says Ravahid. "

He said the company has already begun to reap the benefits of its recently revamped infrastructure, using the new technology to build an "internal AI engine" that will allow developers to develop new products and experiences for customers.

Our AI engine has accelerated the development of new features, such as computer vision, image search and social sharing, allowing the team to reduce development time from weeks to hours," says Ravahid. "

And the announcement of the new servers comes less than a month after eBay rolled out two new sets of application programming interfaces (APIs), which the company says allow developers to add some of its AI features to their own services. This includes the Image Search API, a set of APIs that give developers access to eBay's implementation of visual search tools to help users explore their marketplaces.

For example, a customer could take a photo of the item they want to buy and have eBay display a similar product. In addition, customers simply provide a link to an existing image online and eBay will search for similar products on its own platform.

The company has also released a set of machine translation APIs that can automatically translate product titles and descriptions from English to Mandarin, as well as translate Mandarin search queries into English.

All of these efforts are aimed at the developer community as part of eBay's broader growth strategy. The company is bullish on the ability of developers to improve its platform, specifically noting that developers have helped it achieve this feat since the beginning of the year: total global merchandise sales of more than $9.6 billion.

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