Trade Me ramps up storage system

Online auction site serves up to 60 million pages a day

Trade Me is promising faster speeds and better features after shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars on new storage systems supplied by United States computer giant EMC.

Trade Me infrastructure head Matt van Deventer said the purchase of the two storage systems should result in faster page load times over the coming weeks.

Trade Me would improve its recommendation engine, which suggests items a member might be interested in based on their searches.

"We're going to make it smarter and more tailored to individuals. Some things have traditionally been hard and intensive at the back-end, but those road-blocks don't exist anymore – we can try out some of the more adventurous changes."

The number of items listed for auction on Trade Me was growing by 20 per cent a year and it was serving up close to 60 million pages a day, he said.

Chief executive Jon McDonald said more than 1000 people, and possibly as many as 3000, had taken their first step as entrepreneurs by selling items through the site.

EMC country manager Robin Whitaker said the Trade Me sale contributed to the subsidiary's most successful quarter, with revenues up 40 per cent in the three months to June compared to the same period last year. EMC New Zealand employs 36 staff.

Another win with Otago University was the largest "upfront" storage infrastructure purchase in two years, he believed. "They've got very similar systems to Trade Me, but with greater capacity."

Last year was a tough one for EMC but demand for storage solutions had rebounded, he said.

"We have customers whose data is growing 300 per cent per annum. You can put projects on hold and re-evaluate your core systems but data continues to grow and eventually you need to find ways to accommodate that."

EMC, VMware and Cisco's server solution, which combines servers, virtualisation software and storage, was also attracting customers including ISPs.

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