Facebook has no plans to build tons of data centres like Microsoft and Google have, and will keep them all in the U.S. for now.Earlier today, the company released technical details about its Oregon data centre as part of a new initiative called the Open Compute Project.
At the event, Facebook’s VP of technical operations Jon Heiliger told us that Facebook currently has plans for only two data centres in Oregon and North Carolina, and is not building overseas.
Google and Microsoft each have more than a dozen data centres located all over the world. Other companies are also building more data centres as they push into enterprise cloud computing — just today, Dell announced it is building about 10 in countries around the world.
But Facebook says it can get away with fewer data centres for now because network latency — delays caused by network problems — isn’t that big a deal for Facebook users.
With search providers like Google and Microsoft, users conduct a very simple action — typing a search string — and expect results to come back almost immediately. Same goes with big companies using cloud computing providers.
But a lot of the “action” on Facebook actually takes place in the user’s browser before being transmitted back to Facebook’s servers, and users have a higher tolerance for slight delays.
Heiliger also said that Facebook currently has no plans to rent out space in its data centres like Amazon does with Amazon Web Services. Nor is it switching its data centres from Intel-based processors to ARM-based chips.
He did not comment on how much the data centres cost Facebook to build, but reports place the North Carolina one at around $450 million.