Last week Facebook announced that its users will be able to make video calls through Facebook.com, with the peer-to-peer network Skype serving as the back end. Although Skype's network has global reach through its use of local clients and data centers, the impending influx of new users from Facebook has prompted the company to make additional investments in its data center infrastructure.
"One of Skype's challenges in providing this functionality was scale," writes Skype's Jonathan Rosenberg in a blog post. "Even though Skype leverages its P2P technology to help achieve scale, we still rely on server infrastructure for several parts of the solution. To handle all of this, Skype has substantially increased server counts and added bandwidth in all of our data centers."
Skype's architecture features "supernodes" - servers in data centers that act like a directory, helping to establish connections between Skype clients and creating local clusters typically of several hundred peer nodes. Jack Clark at ZDNet UK provides additional details on the steps Skype is taking to boost its infrastructure to support additional users from Facebook.