Twitter Getting Its Own Data Center?

Twitter_buttonThe slew of impressive statistics coming out this week about Twitter leads to one thing: the site is growing in use and the company intends to have its own data center. With over 100M registered users generating over 55M tweets daily, that’s not surprising. Depending on how you look at them, there are new figures to suggest that Twitter is nearly as big as Facebook, and that means they’re accumulating user-generated data at an increasing rate. This warrants the potential for building their own data center.

Twitter has been been using services provided by NTT, and has previously tried cloud services. Cloud services might seem conceptually beneficial but have a number of kinks, including “brown outs” of service without “acknowledgement”. Given that Twitter already has a contract in place with NTT for 15,000 sf (square feet), why are they announcing a new data center (as per operations engineer John Adams’ presentation at Chirp this week). As Gigaom points out, one possibility is that Twitter will move into NTT’s data center.

Data Center Knowledge further speculates on Twitter’s options: namely the choice between building their own or wholesale leasing of space, instead of colocation or managed hosting. Leasing of course means that there’s less initial capital needed, but since Twitter would get dedicated space and equipment, there’s a premium.

Which ever option Twitter chooses, the intent is to reduce the appearance of the now-legendary “fail whale” image, visible when the site is unavailable, at least from the Twitter.com domain. As for third-party Twitter clients, each has its own means of handling Twitter’s intermittent availability.

Just wondering, if Twitter gets its own data center, will they avoid the environmental controversy Facebook generated with their plan to move to a coal-powered data center. If not, maybe someone will offer up a third-party app to carbon-neutralize your Twitter profile.

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