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If i would want to deploy a site, like ebay, where people will be able to sell something, i would need to store large amounts of images, like many thausends of them and i would need to display about 30 images on some pages.

Normaly i would make a separate server and store them in there, but what else can i do ?

I was trying to store my images on some image hosts like ImageShack, but i have noticed that if i try to request 30 images at same time, some of the images are not showing, looks like imageshack dosnt like to be used this way.

Still there must be some other ways to do it, maybe cloud servers, or other services like imageshack. Does anyone have experience with this ? what would be the best practice beside having a second server ?

Update

Thanks everyone for your input.

I have considered your suggestions and have decided to look deeper info CDN, while i am looking for an independ starter solution, i dont want to start by using an non-free service, therefore i am going to look for free CND systems or for means to create one on my server.

For the time being i have decided to store images on my main server and do a backup on free image sharing sites for each file, so that i can switch image sources for better performance.

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3 Answers 3

Amazon AWS (http://aws.amazon.com/) is a really good way of starting out with this. You can make a server (virtual) run one of many operating systems, select how much RAM and CPU power you need, and only be billed for the amount of resources you actually use. There are other types of plans available for shared-hosting, so you only share images. The Amazon network has great speeds across the world, and is even free for a "micro" package.

Coupled with Cloudflare, which is a DNS-type CDN, which can cache further your images and static HTML content, will make for a wicked-fast partnership.

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If it's just static images, I would suggest Amazon S3 for storage - it's simple to setup & integrate, and low cost, especially to start with.

You don't need a separate server - or a cloud server - S3 provides just cloud based storage which is all you need; you don't need the extra cost and overhead of a server.

It also integrates seamlessly with Amazon CloudFront - a CDN (Content Delivery Network) - to speed up image loading for you users; you can switch CloudFront on (or off) anytime you like.

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Major websites like Google or Facebook uses a Content Delivery Network. This provides the best performance. There is also CSS Sprites, but that technique isn't used much anymore.

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CSS Sprites have little to do with where you're storing the images, and are just a technique to reduce overhead when you're displaying them to the client. –  joshuahedlund May 7 '12 at 20:20
    
Correct, they also decrease the number of images that is requested; hence @RaslyWalker's overall problem. You could take potentially hundreds of images and combine them into one. –  Christopher May 8 '12 at 4:14

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