Facebook Now Has 30,000 Servers

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A look at the fully-packed racks inside a Facebook data center facility.

A look at the fully-packed racks inside a Facebook data center facility.

How many servers does Facebook have? For some time now, the stock answer has been “more than 10,000 servers,” a number the company began using in April 2008. Facebook has continued to use that number, even as it has soared past 300 million users and dramatically expanded its data center space.

We now have an update: Facebook has 30,000 servers supporting its operations. That number comes from Jeff Rothschild, the vice president of technology at Facebook, who discussed the company’s infrastructure in a presentation last week at UC San Diego (link via High Scalability).

“Today we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 servers,” Rothschild said during the Q&A session following his talk, adding that the number ”will be different today than it was yesterday” because Facebook is adding capacity on a daily basis.

That places Facebook among the largest Internet companies that have publicly discussed their server counts, but still well behind hosting providers Rackspace, 1&1 Internet and OVH, which each house more than 50,000 servers in their data centers. See Who Has The Most Web Servers for more date on the largest infrastructures.

20,000 Servers In 18 Months
It also suggests that Facebook has added about 20,000 servers since early 2008, which explains why it borrowed $100 million in May 2008 to fund server purchases.

Rothschild also shared some huge numbers associated with Facebook’s photo storage operation, which now stores 80 billion images (20 billion images, each in four sizes). Rothschild said the real challenge isn’t storage, but delivery. ”We serve up 600,000 photos a second,” he said.

25 Terabytes of Log Data – Daily
The amount of log data amassed in Facebook’s operations is staggering. Rothschild said Facebook manages more than 25 terabytes of data per day in logging data, which he said was the equivalent of about 1,000 times the volume of mail delivered daily by the U.S. Postal Service.

Rothschild also discussed the effectiveness of the company’s engineering operations. Facebook currently has about 230 engineers on staff, who manage data for more than 300 million users. Rothschild said that having one engineer for more than 1 million active users has been a consistent historic ratio at Facebook. ”We believe engineers at Facebook have a dramatic impact.”

The 1-hour, 10-minute presentation discusses the company’s commitment to open source technologies and the importance of memcached and Hadoop in their operations.

Here’s a look at some of our past coverage of the growth of Facebook’s infrastructure:

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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120 Comments

  1. wow amazing :D 20mil for data centers. wondering how much is the current income of FB

  2. I wonder what makes up the majority of that data, pointless status updates or mafia war invites.

  3. $20m a year! How crazy! I can't imagine even seeing that many servers. Mind-blowing.

  4. John Davis

    Wow, that is just totally insane dude! RT www.true-privacy.net.tc

  5. Mike

    What is their backend DB?

  6. Man... I would not want to be tech support for Facebook. Fixing problems with those servers must be hell.

  7. That's around 10,000 user's a server. Does that sound right to you? You still have to seperate web server versus database server verses backup server. Those numbers don't seem right to me, unless they are planning for the near future.

  8. 230 engineers for 300 million people mind boggling.

  9. They'll be planning for the future of course. It's no good having enough capacity for your current user base, you need double that to cope. You need a healthy buffer for user fluctuations and processing power, not to mention when things go wrong.

  10. I appreciate the post but might I add that I find it a little odd that you're comparing Facebook to 1&1 and Rackspace with regards to numbers of servers. It just seems a little odd to me. It's like comparing a billionaire businessman who has 25 homes around the world to a real-estate company who own 30 homes and rent them out - completely unrelated really. An impressive figure none the less.

  11. How is work together is this virtualization center what is platform ??? anyone have complete documentation of this ccenter

  12. Amit

    As a Data Center Admin , This news is very much important for me ... Thanks

  13. It is quite interesting to see how much data Facebook keeps as log on a daily basis. But I believe they should have some sort of log rotation in place for clearing/cleaning old logs. But what ever they do with those logs, I'd say it's still mind-bugling.

  14. It's not surprising that the social networking giant, Facebook, has 30,000 servers, considering they are ranked the number two most visited website in the world.

  15. This is a huge number of servers, what would they do with all those information that they are gathering? At least, if they can manage with this many servers, that should give us an idea of what the big 'G' keeps on us.

  16. Wow! That's what I call a serious setup ;-) We have only 10 servers online and still far enough trouble with it. sunny greetings from Germany, Sina

  17. 25 terabytes of data per day in logging data is a lot of data a day. I wonder how its being used

  18. so ? what that means, they earn 11000x than

  19. wonder Facebook needs as many as 30,000 servers, and they probably keep adding more and more.

  20. It is quite interesting to see how much data Facebook keeps as log on a daily basis. But I believe they should have some sort of log rotation in place for clearing/cleaning old logs.

  21. This is a huge number of servers, what would they do with all those information that they are gathering?

  22. That’s around 10,000 user’s a server. Does that sound right to you? You still have to seperate web server versus database server verses backup server. Those numbers don’t seem right to me

  23. David: see this update: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/06/28/facebook-server-count-60000-or-more/

  24. If serializing is prioritized over habits then won’t serialized project approach cause you to constantly work on the next group project? As project time is impossible to calculate you will eventually have to breach particular habit times.

  25. That’s around 10,000 user’s a server. Does that sound right to you? You still have to seperate web server versus database server verses backup server. Those numbers don’t seem right to me

  26. This is a huge number of servers, what would they do with all those information that they are gathering?

  27. Superb Facebook Rocks..

  28. costs are not insubstantial either though: 40,000 servers – which probably cost the best part of $200m to buy and set up – and storing maybe 100

  29. around 10,000 user’s a server. Does that sound right to you? You still have to seperate web server versus database server verses backup server. Those numbers don’t seem right to me

  30. Vishnu M Aiea

    Can you please tell any one's location..... ? :)

  31. costs are not insubstantial either though: 40,000 servers – which probably cost the best part of $200m to buy and set up – and storing maybe 100

  32. It is quite interesting to see how much data Facebook keeps as log on a daily basis. But I believe they should have some sort of log rotation in place for clearing/cleaning old logs.

  33. Wonder Facebook needs as many as 30,000 servers, and they probably keep adding more and more.Thanks

  34. 30,000!? And this was in 2009? I can only imagine what they're at now, in 2011..

  35. Mohamed Rizwan

    OMG! Its amazing to see the server rack and the stufss. But i am thinkg how fat is it safe and security to have all the back ups?

  36. ali

    yo.... seems kinda kool..... i wud like to know what is the total storage capacity of all these 30000 servers... approximately.. :P