This week Facebook will complete its roll-out of a new photo storage system designed to reduce the social network’s reliance on expensive proprietary solutions from NetApp and Akamai. The new large blob storage system, named Haystack, is a custom-built file system solution for the over 850 million photos uploaded to the site each month. Jason Sobel, a former NetApp engineer, led Facebook’s effort to design a more cost-effective and high-performance storage system for their unique needs.
On Thursday BusinessWeek reported Facebook is seeking new financing for its data center operation growth in 2009. Facebook continues to add new members and their associated content at an extremely fast pace, with most new growth coming from international markets. Facebook needs to expand its abilities to serve these markets by bolstering current infrastructure offerings and cutting latency to its members through new international points of presence. In this post I will take a deeper look at Facebook’s current computing infrastructure and related expenses and examine likely new areas of investment in 2009.