Intel and Facebook sign Web 2.0-inspired agreement

Facebook and Intel Corporation will work together to optimize Facebook’s […]

August 13, 2008

Facebook and Intel Corporation will work together to optimize Facebook’s
hardware and software as the company builds out its datacenter infrastructure. With growing global popularity, Facebook plans to deploy thousands of Intel Xeon processor-based servers over the next year to help scale rapid global expansion and meet processing needs of the company’s increasingly rich media applications that span videos, music, photos and more.

To maximize the return on this infrastructure investment, Facebook and Intel have signed a collaboration agreement that focuses on technology evaluation, benchmarking and optimization of software for Intel architecture. Intel will work to address Facebook’s processing needs through assessment of various chipset and server platform configurations, delivery of the most energy efficient processors and allocation of software engineering to evaluate ways to harness the optimal performance from Facebook’s servers.

“We are pleased to expand our relationship with Intel,” said Jonathan Heiliger, vice president of Technical Operations at Facebook, “Intel has demonstrated that the performance of their systems can help Facebook scale our infrastructure and continue to deliver the best experience to users around the world.” “Intel is excited to engage with Facebook as they are a dynamic force in the evolution of the Internet,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Server Platforms Group. “Facebook’s selection of Intel Xeon processors for their next round of
infrastructure growth is a testament to the performance, energy efficiency and technology benefits Intel can provide.”

Over the past several months, Facebook rigorously tested and benchmarked a
number of server platforms and scenarios, and ultimately selected the Intel Xeon processor 5400 series for its round of new deployments that begin in July.

“When you are responsible for providing a fast, high-quality experience to more than 90 million people worldwide, every ounce of efficiency matters,” Heiliger said. “Intel’s Xeon processors play a critical role in achieving our infrastructure efficiency.”

Both companies envision that the collaboration may benefit not only Facebook, but ideally the Web 2.0 industry at-large. Intel plans to work with Facebook to evaluate ways to improve its software performance on Intel-based servers. Intel has a wealth of software engineering expertise as well as such tools as Intel VTune and Intel Thread Checker to help companies improve application performance on multi-core Intel processors.

Since Facebook’s applications are mostly built on open source technologies, the companies believe that some of the insights from this collaboration may be contributed back to the open source community, benefiting other companies that use similar underlying technologie.

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