Will Facebook Shift Instagram Off Amazon’s Cloud?

What will Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of photo sharing app Instagram mean for the company’s infrastructure? That’s an interesting question, as Instagram has been running its infrastructure on the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform.

There are signs that this will change. “We will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in announcing the deal. That sure sounds like Instagram’s operations will eventually be shifting to Facebook’s data center network, but Facebook declined to offer any details on its plans for Instagram’s infrastructure.

The alternative would be for Facebook to become a significant customer of Amazon and continue running Instagram on the AWS cloud.

Instagram has been growing rapidly, recently adding more than 1 million new users in just 12 hours after it launched the Android version of its app. Facebook, of course, has developed one of the most advanced photo hosting platforms in the world.

Instagram supports more than 30 million users of its photo-sharing apps. The service runs on Amazon’s EC2 compute cloud, and also uses Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancer, Elastic Block Storage and Route 53 DNS service. A full description of Instagram’s software and tools can be found at the company’s engineering blog.

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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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