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If you are asking if it uses the same database server, then most likely yes. High performance servers are very expensive and most (if not all) of the stack exchange websites don't warrant or need a dedicated db server just for themselves.

If you are asking if it uses the same database ("database" as in CREATE DATABASE abc) then no. It uses different "instances". Using the same actual database makes performance worse and implementation more difficult.

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Do you know this or are you just guessing? I was just wondering how they powered – Andrew G. Johnson Aug 9 '10 at 2:19
@Andrew: just guessing – Andreas Bonini Aug 9 '10 at 8:32
+1... a sensible guess. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Sep 18 '10 at 4:34
They just query Jon Skeet, he remembers. – Peter Ajtai Sep 18 '10 at 6:06
You guessed correctly sir – waffles Sep 18 '10 at 10:10
Be very careful with the word "instances" - that means something completely different to a SQL Server professional. Instances are separate installations of SQL Server, and StackOverflow definitely doesn't use multiple instances on the same hardware. That's a recipe for complexity and painful management. – Brent Ozar Oct 18 '10 at 1:11

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