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Intel to power Facebook data center infrastructure

Posted: 04 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Xeon processor? data center? collaboration? Facebook infrastructure?

Facebook and Intel Corp. have partnered to optimize social networking site's hardware and software as it builds out its data center infrastructure.

With growing global popularity, Facebook plans to deploy thousands of Intel Xeon processor-based servers over the next year to help scale rapid global expansion and meet processing needs of the company's increasingly rich media applications that span videos, music, photos and more.

To maximize the return on this infrastructure investment, Facebook and Intel have signed a collaboration agreement that focuses on technology evaluation, benchmarking and optimization of software for Intel architecture. Intel will work to address Facebook's processing needs through assessment of various chipset and server platform configurations, delivery of the most energy efficient processors and allocation of software engineering to evaluate ways to harness the optimal performance from Facebook's servers.

"Intel has demonstrated that the performance of their systems can help Facebook scale our infrastructure and continue to deliver the best experience to users around the world," said Jonathan Heiliger, VP of technical operations at Facebook.

"Facebook's selection of Intel Xeon processors for their next round of infrastructure growth is a testament to the performance, energy efficiency and technology benefits Intel can provide," said Kirk Skaugen, VP and general manager of Intel's server platforms group.

Over the past several months, Facebook rigorously tested and benchmarked a number of server platforms and scenarios, and ultimately selected the Intel Xeon processor 5400 series for its round of new deployments that began in July.

"When you are responsible for providing a fast, high-quality experience to more than 90 million people worldwide, every ounce of efficiency matters," Heiliger said. "Intel's Xeon processors play a critical role in achieving our infrastructure efficiency."

Both companies envision that the collaboration may benefit not only Facebook, but ideally the Web 2.0 industry at-large. Intel plans to work with Facebook to evaluate ways to improve its software performance on Intel-based servers. Intel's software engineering expertise as well as such tools as Intel VTune and Intel Thread Checker can help companies improve application performance on multicore Intel processors. Since Facebook's applications are mostly built on open source technologies, the companies believe that some of the insights from this collaboration may be contributed back to the open source community, benefiting other companies that use similar underlying technologies.

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