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Reddit is a booming social news site with close to 1.6 billion page views a month.

System Specifications
  • Bandwidth (Why Low?): Reddit has become one of the most trafficked websites in the U.S. Although millions are visiting, Reddit doesn’t send too much bandwidth-heavy content back to users.
  • CPU (Why Low?): Because most of the content on Reddit is pictures or text, not much processing power is required to run the site.
  • Disk (Why Medium?): While Reddit does have fair share of content on its site, most of the content are simply linked to Reddit, not stored on its own servers.
  • RAM (Why Low?): Because the site mostly redirects you to a different site in order to view the contents, there won’t be much RAM used to show you this content.
  • Scalability (Why High?): Reddit chose Amazon’s cloud hosting services to power their website.  Cloud hosting has always been a very economic method of reaching high scalability.

In 2005, two newly graduated University of Virginia alums created a website, Reddit.com, where users submit content and then vote up or down on content submissions from other users. Users have the power to decide what is or isn’t important and visible on the website. In April 2011, Reddit.com outranked Digg.com in popularity as the world’s most visited social news site.


Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian founded Reddit.com and later that year, Christopher Slowe joined the team. They received $100K in funding from Y Combinator, a start-up funding firm. After a year of success, Condé Nast Publications acquired Reddit on October 31st, 2006. However, in July 2010, Reddit was lacking funds to support the explosive growth they were experiencing. To compensate, they began the Reddit Gold program. The program succeeded in getting Reddit the money they needed and they were able to buy more servers and hire more employees.

Then, on September 6th 2011, Reddit went independent from Condé Nast Publications, but is still in the family. They are now working under a separate subsidiary of Advance Publications, which is Condé Nast Publications parent company. As of September 2011, Reddit traffic was over 1.6 billion page views a month.


The features of Reddit are what make it the most popular social news site on the Internet today. Anyone can browse Reddit with or without registering an account on the website. However, to vote on submissions, users must have an account. Also, to submit links to be voted on, a user must have an account. Account holders can create subreddits which are specific categories that they want to see content in. For example, there are subreddits for politics, world news, gaming, technology, etc. Users can subscribe to subreddits anyone has created to see submissions in these categories. You can customize what you see when you log in based on what subreddits you are subscribed to.

Also, users can send messages to each other, comment directly to each other in submission threads, and up-vote or down-vote specific comments in threads. The more up-votes on a user’s links and comments, the higher a user’s karma score (an arbitrary total displayed on their user page). Finally, users can earn awards for a particular achievement based on their activity on Reddit. Trophies are also available as milestones for users’ achievements. Reddit Gold is an optional monthly subscription service for customers that provides benefits like less ads, more customizable home pages, etc.


Alexa ranks Reddit as the 48th most trafficked site in the U.S., and 113th in the world. In November 2009, Reddit moved from physical servers to Amazon Web Services. Specifically they are using Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). One of the key benefits of cloud hosting is the ability to rapidly resize resources in the cloud. The rapid resizing makes development easier and more efficient. It also helps business owners by tracking what resources owners are using and only charging them for what was used that month. The additional advantage of a cloud storage system like EBS is the ability to store data separate from the resources you’re running as a cloud user. That way, if traffic decreases and some resources are dropped because they’re not needed, all the storage is safe in another location (and still accessible to all running resources).


Reddit is the current leading social news website in the world. Hosted through the cloud, it is a dynamic website that allows users to submit their own content and then decide how relevant other users’ content is. The social aspect it provides through inter-website messages and comment threads on submissions helps to create the Reddit community that is so popular with Internet users today.


Amazon.com. “Reddit.com Site Info.” Alexa the Web Information Company.
http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/reddit.com (accessed November 22, 2011).

“Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).” Amazon Web Services.
http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/ (accessed November 23, 2011).

Condé Nast Digital. “reddit.com: help.” reddit: the front page of the internet.
http://www.reddit.com/help/awards (accessed November 23, 2011).

Condé Nast Digital. “reddit.com: help.” reddit: the front page of the internet.
http://www.reddit.com/help/gold (accessed November 23, 2011).

Csutoras, Brent. “Reddit Goes Open Source.” Brent Csutoras.
http://www.brentcsutoras.com/2008/06/18/reddit-goes-open-source/ (accessed November 23, 2011).

Macale, Sherilynne. “A rundown of Reddit’s history and community.” The Next Web – International technology news, business & culture.
http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/10/14/a-rundown-of-reddits-history-and-community-infographic (accessed November 22, 2011).

Williams, Alex. “Reddit Went Down: Blame Amazon, the Cloud or Both?” ReadWriteWeb.
http://www.readwriteweb.com/cloud/2011/03/ipad-for-business-round-up-web.php (accessed November 22, 2011).


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