This week, Twitter announced they would be receiving a $200 million infusion of funds from venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins. Yes, the same Kleiner Perkins who invested in this little company called Google some time back. I would say that this is a pretty big endorsement that Twitter has at least some relevance in the social media realm.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the microblogging service added more than 100 million new accounts in the past twelve months. With that type of growth, Twitter servers have been taxed as is evident by the frequent white Twitter whale that members have the pleasure of making their acquaintance of a few times a week. This annoyance can be eliminated with additional resources, and that’s exactly what Twitter will be investing in.
Along with new servers, Twitter will be opening a new data center in Sacramento as it begins to operate its own facilities. The company is not releasing many details about the project, yet it has has been reported that the Sacramento office space has been surveyed and the plans to open a new facility in Salt Lake City have been shelved for the time being. When Twitter spokesman Matt Graves was asked about data center planning he responded with an email stating, “We’re still not commenting on our data center.” Twitter has since confirmed the Sacramento plans.
The California city makes perfect sense as it is a popular location for data center infrastructure and disaster recovery. The capital of California is outside the state’s earthquake zone, a short ninety-minute drive from Silicon Valley and is much more affordable than the San Francisco Bay area. Utility costs for power hungry data centers typically consume much of a company’s capital, but Sacramento has made the city very desirable for these types of operations. They offer an affordable power pricing structure provided by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).
Companies such as Twitter, Google and Facebook are moving toward completely in-house data centers for a number of reasons. Twitter’s Jean-Paul Cozzatti cites many benefits when he says, “Having dedicated data centers will give us more capacity to accommodate growth in users and activity on Twitter. Second, Twitter will have full control over network and system configuration, with a much larger footprint in a building designed specifically around our unique power and cooling needs.”
Twitter has yet to announce the location in Sacramento, but, being from the area, I can tell you there a several locations that can provide the space and power requirements. Residents of tech rich Salt Lake City should not despair, as continued Twitter growth will certainly make it a player in the future expansion plans.
So, with this development, where do we see Twitter going in relation to a business plan? Will the expansion simply add to reliability and less down time or will Twitter follow the lead of Facebook and look to expanding the plan? We want your predictions in the comments below.