Facebook Expands Data Center Space
October 18th, 2007 By: Rich Miller
Facebook has leased space in a state-of-the-art data center in Ashburn, Virginia to power the huge growth of its social networking service. The addition of 10,000 square feet of space in a new facility built by DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT) will allow Facebook to expand its server infrastructure. The lease is for the second phase of a $375 million facility, 300,000 square foot facility that is scheduled to come online Nov. 1. It is not known when Facebook will begin moving equipment into the facility, known as ACC4.
The lease, which was signed on Oct. 15, was reported in an SEC filing in which the tenant was not named. DuPont Fabros executives identified Facebook as the tenant in a presentation to investors in advance of its IPO.
The 10,000 square foot lease is not enormous by data center standards. But Facebook has positioned itself for substantial growth, as the second phase of the ACC4 facility is currently 56 percent leased, with more than 37,000 square feet of raised floor space available. This gives Facebook the option of leasing additional space in the facility as its Internet infrastructure grows. Yahoo (YHOO) and MySpace are among the other tenants in ACC4.
Facebook had 30.6 million visitors in September, according to data from comScore. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday at the Web 2.0 conference that Facebook has “almost wrapped up” a round of funding that is rumored to value the company at more than $10 billion.
Facebook’s infrastructure has grown enormously as the site has grown beyond its initial market of college students to add high school and professional users. That growth sometimes threatened to get ahead of the young company’s back-end capabilities, according to chief operating officer Owen Van Natta, who discussed Facebook’s data center operations earlier this year. Van Natta said Facebook was “one of the largest MySQL Web sites in production,’ referring to the widely-used open source database.
The industrial-strength infrastructure at the new DuPont Fabros facility will be sturdy enough to handle Facebook’s growth. ACC4 is a seven-acre facility supported by 36.4 megawatts of power. More than 40,000 square feet of data center space is dedicated to housing diesel generators to provide backup power.
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