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Facebook data center planned for Taiwan

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:data center? cloud computing? server technology?

The China Economic News Service (CENS) has reported that Facebook Inc. is cooking up plans to build a cloud center in the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) in Taichung, Taiwan. However, Facebook said it had no such plans, with CTSP also denying the rumors.

CENS said the center would likely reach about 720,000ft2 and bring in several billion New Taiwanese Dollars' worth of business to Taiwan's server procurement business, as well as local component makers. If the rumors turn out to be true, the move would be a huge boon to Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs that has long been working to portray Taiwan as an Asian information logistics center.

The sheer size of the center would also make Taiwan the cloud computing capital of the world, bolstering Asia's Internet backbone, also from the report. Back in June, Google Inc. also announced plans to establish a cloud computing center in the country.

Facebook seems to be looking to local Taiwan players to help it give its cloud center a lift. Wistron Corp., Quanta Computer Inc. and Gigabyte Technology are all purportedly vying for the firm's business when it comes to furnishing its cloud center with the latest and greatest in server technology.

By running its own data center and buying equipment directly from local Taiwan manufacturers, Facebook could save itself money, as gross margins for cloud-computing servers are typically above 20 percent for brand suppliers, while contract manufacturers have margins of just three to four percent.

While firms such as Winstron have done business with Facebook in the past, having supplied servers to the social giant's North Carolina data center, the procurement path would be a new one for the likes of motherboard maker Gigabyte, which is trying to break into the lucrative cloud market.

Geographically, Taiwan is well placed to house Facebook's business. The centralized regime in mainland China would likely not allow Facebook to set up such a center on its soil, and Japan would be a far more expensive choice.

- Sylvie Barak
??EE Times

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