Every single day, iPhone and iPad owners ask Siri millions of questions. Each and every one of those questions must be analyzed by Apple using computer-intensive natural language processing, translating it into a form that a computer can understand.
That takes a lot of computer horsepower. But how much?
Over on Reddit, a post suggests that there are 3 main ‘instances’ (or server farms) for Siri in the United States, and at least one for every other country.
This information allegedly comes — albeit second-hand — from Apple’s lead cloud architect, who says that every instance of Siri runs on 32 powerful HP servers with a total of 1024 cores and 32 terrabytes of RAM apiece. That certainly makes the new Mac Pro look long in the tooth.
According to the post, if one server dies, it’s simply removed and another one slapped in, with no downtime.
By my calculations, that means that the hardware Siri runs on costs about $1,019,008 per instance, without taking other IT costs into account. That’s practically peanuts for the company that announced $13.1 billion in profit yesterday.