Feeds

Home-grown server kit saves Facebook 'a BEELLION dollars'

Open hardware + open software + data centers = immense savings

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Facebook says it has saved itself more than a billion dollars over the past three years by customizing its data-center hardware.

By using gear assembled by the likes of Quanta and Wiwynn, the web giant has saved a significant amount of money, Facebook's veep of hardware engineering Jay Parikh said on Tuesday. The social network also relies on canny server warehouse layouts and a bevy of open-source software – but, crucially, its systems are built to order, cutting traditional server makers out of the equation.

"Over the last three years our infrastructure and focus on efficiency has saved us over $1.2bn dollars," beamed Parikh in his keynote speech at the Open Compute Summit in San Jose, California, today.

This figure comes from "across all layers of the stack – datacenter, hardware, software," a Facebook spokesman told The Register via email. To put the saving in context, Facebook's global revenue for 2012 was $5bn, and its net income $53m.

These customized systems in Facebook's data centers are publicly documented by the social network's Open Compute Project: specifications and diagrams for OCP kit are published under liberal licenses for anyone to use. The cost savings boasted today could tempt other companies to use the freely available technology.

Microsoft, for instance, confirmed its participation in OCP today, and donated two server blueprints. These machines have saved Redmond's per-server cost by 40 per cent, and cut power consumption by 15 per cent, the Windows giant said.

Though OCP gear is, for now, most likely to be used by large data center operators such as Rackspace, Riot Games, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and Facebook, there are indications other organizations smell the cost savings and are working to sling the cut-price boxes to smaller IT shops as well.

Finally, the development of vanity-free networking boxes is underway, which hints at further cost savings to come. If Facebook is anything to go by, companies may be able to trim their IT budgets by investing in the open hardware approach. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.