Recently I was curious to find out how big sites like eBay are build and running. After a quick research I was able to find some quite interesting articles.
I was surprised to find out that eBay doesn't use transactions. As well they do not use foreign keys in their database (the same thing as the SharePoint_AdminContent database). It looks like this is the latest trend ;-)
If you are curious like me, take a look at the following:
Randy Shoup on eBay's Architectural Principles
eBay Architectural Strategies, Patterns, and Forces
Software Engineering Radio: eBay's Architecture Principles with Randy Shoup
Scalability Best Practices: Lessons from eBay
Dan Pritchett on Architecture at eBay
You Scaled Your What?
High Scalability: eBay Architecture