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What Is Siri? A Whole Lotta Servers

29 January 2014 9,149 views No Comment

Whereas we know who Siri is (Susan Bennett), the question of what is Siri has remained unanswered…

Whereas we know who Siri is (Susan Bennett), the question of what is Siri has remained unanswered. So, when you query Apple’s digital assistance, what collection of hardware actually answers the question? Well, if “some guy” on Reddit is a believable source, then an instance of Siri — there is more than one — is actually 1024 processor cores with 32 terabytes of RAM.

In case you had forgotten, future products always beat Apple, always and forever.

Whereas someone posted “Intel’s voice recognition will blow Siri out of the water,” for the rest of us, the truly interesting bit came in the form of a reply from Redditor fleole, who described the hardware she lives.

For example, each instance of Siri, contains 32 servers with a total of 1024 cores and 32 terabytes of RAM. All of that is housed inside four HP c7k enclosures each of which holds eight blades.

There is no local storage on the servers — everything is stored on a SAN. The advantage of this “stateless application” is that, when a server goes down, a tech need only swap out the failed hardware and only a relative handful of queries would be lost.

The aplication is stateless, so no HA and DR per se, but if one server fail, just the current Siri query are lost, you just have to repeat again and your query will end up to another one server. If the full DC blown u or lost connection, this is a guess but I think each carrier will redirect Siri traffic to another region but that I can’t guarantee.

Where Is Siri?

Fleole adds that there are three instances of Siri (East Coast, Central, West Coast) for the United States. Other countries where Apple’s digital assistant is available are each served by an instance.

Though fleole doesn’t mention where Siri physically lives, it seems safe to assume she makes her home in one or more of Apple’s data centers.

So, what is Siri? A whole lot more than a Mac Pro and perhaps not quite as impressive as you thought…

Fun stuff!

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