Twitter Picks Utah for New Data Center

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Twitter will build its first custom data center in the Salt Lake City market, which will allow the microblogging service to better manage its growth and “unique power and cooling needs,” the company said yesterday.

The construction project marks the next phase in the growth of Twitter, and comes as the company is experiencing a series of outages and challenges with its infrastructure and performance. The announcement also reinforces the attractiveness of Salt Lake City as an emerging data center hub. Twitter is the third high-profile technology company to build a major data center in Salt Lake City, following the lead of eBay, Oracle Corp. and the NSA.

Twitter currently manages its infrastructure through a managed hosting agreement with NTT America, which has cited Twitter’s growth as a driver in the expansion of its data center network. In April Twitter announced plans to build a data center of its own. On Wednesday it provided additional details on the Twitter Engineering blog.

“Later this year, Twitter is moving our technical operations infrastructure into a new, custom-built data center in the Salt Lake City area,” wrote Twitter’s Jean-Paul Cozzatti, who said having dedicated data centers will provide more capacity to accommodate growth of 300,000 new users per day. “Keeping pace with these users and their Twitter activity presents some unique and complex engineering challenges. Importantly, having our own data center will give us the flexibility to more quickly make adjustments as our infrastructure needs change.”

Twitter also said it will expand its network to include providers other than NTT America. Twitter’s reliance upon a single company has been a topic of debate during some of the company’s outages, including a denial of service attack last August. “We will continue to work with NTT America to operate our current footprint, and plan to bring additional Twitter managed data centers online over the next 24 months,” Cozzatti wrote.

Twitter’s plans will be welcomed in Salt Lake City, which has won several major projects that scouted locations across the western United States:

  • In May eBay unveiled a $287 million data center in South Jordan, Utah, which will host the eBay.com and Paypal.com web sites.
  • Oracle recently resumed construction on a $300 million data center in West Jordan.
  • The National Security Administration (NSA) is investing more than $1 billion in a large new data center at Camp Williams in Utah that will provide infrastructure to support its intelligence-gathering operations.

The Utah market has also been attractive to regional data center providers. C7 Data Centers and ViaWest each have multiple facilities in the Salt Lake City area.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large 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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3 Comments

  1. I can finally twit without interruptions..yaay!