back to article Home-grown server kit saves Facebook 'a billion dollars'

Facebook says it has saved itself more than a billion dollars over the past three years by customizing its data-center hardware. By using gear assembled by the likes of Quanta and Wiwynn, the web giant has saved a significant amount of money, Facebook's veep of hardware engineering Jay Parikh said on Tuesday. The social …

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  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    And the taxbreaks?

    They're surely pretty important, too. Otherwise why build data centres where they do?

  2. Charles Manning

    Microsoft involved.

    Shhh, did you hear a twig snap?

    Microsoft involved in anything Open pretty much always ends up being embraced, extended then extinguished.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a nit...

    "Facebook's global revenue for 2012 was $5bn, and its net income $53m."

    So this begs the question... how much did they pay for the IP that they tossed in to their Double Irish company?

    Hint: Google 'facebook, tax double Irish'

    Here's a quote from a Bloomberg article dated 12-6-2013

    "Facebook International Limited, the social network's Irish profit center employing 382 people in Dublin, generated a gross profit of $2.38 billion in the year to December, 2012, and will pay just $2.6 million in corporate tax."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no F'ing DUH!!! Really buying a more powerful server at 1/3 the cost saves you money really??? duh ...

    I've tried to convince every one of my previous and current employers to do this and guess what... always said the same thing, support, support, support..... well support is useless if it takes a day or so to repair things, when you can run down to your local white box store and buy something to replace the broken bits on the rare occurrence this happens is a hell of a lot cheaper then your cheapest support plan. But I guess you need techs that are more than a one trick pony, and that costs a bit more but funny enough it is still way cheaper then any of the support plan provided by any of the Dell/HP/What ever OEM's out there. Remember that often you have techs that are not allow to touch the hardware thus you have people who don't know how-to do this and ontop of the support plan you must pay for the expensive consultant to do the work.

    So yeah this was obvious to anyone worth their salt over a decade ago. Funny when a big time company like facebook says something like this all of the sudden they seem like geniuses.

    I have a simple question: would you like your mechanic to do any kind of surgery on you or would you prefer a surgeon. I say this because I never understood why companies think they can get away with cheap uneducated/non multi-competent techs. Sorry guys you get what you pay for, next, next, next, finish techs won't cut it.

    Cheers

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @AC Duh nope...

      Support is an issue.

      If you notice... FB and others have been buying white boxes from a company (not building their own) where they do get support.

      Of course in a Hadoop cluster, if a drive fails, you replace the hot-swap drive and restart.

      If the box fails, your cluster is still up and you don't notice it. You can wait 24-48 hours to get a new one built and shipped.

      This hype-o-rama is basically saying that they want to share designs so that those white box makers will have supply in stock and can drop ship one overnight.

      The key issue is that they are building kit that they want. Meaning IBM, HP and others were asleep at the switch and ignored their customers.

      It still takes time to fix the problem. How long... depends on the problem and the staff.

      All this does is try to ensure that their suppliers are still in business when they stop ordering massive amounts of hardware and go in to replacement mode. (Boxes don't fail that often.)

      Its all hype.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Its all hype.

        Mostly hype, not all of it.

        To some extent, suppliers have lost touch with their buyers. To the extent open architecture puts suppliers back in touch it will help the market. And certainly if you have large enough quantities to justify the design cost, you might be able to get some efficiencies by leaving things of board and chips that you won't use. But yes, it is a more difficult than the magic pixie dust approach they are pitching.

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