Sunday, April 27, 2008

FaceBook server infrastructure

Om Malik reported on
The company is running around 10,000 servers, according to Data Center Knowledge, citing comments made by Facebook VP of technology, Jeff Rothschild, at a recent MySQL user conference. (See video of the panel.) Of the 10,000 servers, 1,800 are from MySQL and around 805 of them are memcached servers. In order to house its sprawling infrastructure, Facebook has leased data center space from DuPont Fabros in Ashburn, Va., and Digital Realty Trust in Santa Clara, Calif., DCK reports.

How much is Facebook spending on its infrastructure? The company isn’t going to tell us, but there are clues. Server and storage company Rackable today reported first-quarter 2008 sales of around $69 million. Facebook is one of its largest customers, accounting for around 10 percent of Rackable’s sales (that number could be higher, but we’ll have to wait for Rackable’s 10-Q to get a clearer picture), so some quick, back-of-the-envelope math reveals $7 million in spending by the social networking company. A well placed source of mine just let me know that Facebook is going to spend over $9 million more on servers this year. That should be good news for Rackable. Next on my list is an estimate of Facebook’s bandwidth and data center costs.

Doing a little more calculation - $7M for 10,000 servers, means about $700 per server, assuming a 10% cost for F5,firewall etc. - we are at $630 per server. That's pretty heavy duty server, I think.

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Anonymous Navin Kabra said...

Hi Mukul,
I was wondering about your comment that $630 per server qualifies as "pretty heavy duty". What would you put the TCO of a server? If you are paying for a colocated server, you end up shelling out around $300 or so per month. And the facebook figures of $700 is a per year figure. So looks reasonable to me. Where am I miscalculating?

4:48 AM  
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