Home » Facebook (FB) Presents at Credit Suisse 2014 Annual Technology Conference (Transcript)

Facebook (FB) Presents at Credit Suisse 2014 Annual Technology Conference (Transcript)

Edited transcript of Facebook (FB) at Credit Suisse 2014 Annual Technology Conference

Facebook’s Vice President of Infrastructure, Jason Taylor presents at Credit Suisse 2014 Annual Technology Conference on December 02, 2014, 12:30 PM ET. Following are the webcast audio and the associated transcript of the event…

Listen to the Webcast Audio MP3: Facebook (FB) at Credit Suisse 2014 Annual Technology Conference – Webcast Audio


Stephen Ju – Analyst, Credit Suisse

All right, I think we’re going to go ahead and get started. Stephen Ju from the Credit Suisse Internet Equity Research team joined by Jason Taylor, who heads the infrastructure development effort at Facebook.

So without further ado, take it away.

Jason Taylor – VP, Infrastructure, Facebook

Great. So my name is Jason Taylor and I run a group called Infrastructure Foundation at Facebook.

We’re responsible for server design, server supply chain, overall capacity management. So capacity engineering, performance reviews, things like that. And then also the long-term infrastructure plan.

So today, I’m going to kind of walk through a little bit of our infrastructure and talk about a few efficiency programs that we’re excited about and look towards the future of efficiency at large-scale computing.

So Facebook is large. 82% of our monthly active users are outside the United States. We are a global deployment. We have international data centers, one in Lulea and several in the United States.

So 1.35 billion connect with us monthly, 1.2 billion on mobile and kind of a stunning 930 million photos are uploaded to the site every day. So it’s a lot of media, a lot of content that’s distributed on Facebook.

6 billion likes, 12 billion messages per day. It’s a very active site, very dynamic and we built an infrastructure to accommodate that.

Now for the last five years really efficiency has been a top priority at the company and initially I would say that it was really about necessity. We were facing a huge uptick in adoption of Facebook and usage and efficiency has always been core just to be able to scale. And as we reached a large scale it became necessary just for long-term financial viability and also just our ability to build platforms that scale well.

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Now from a cost perspective, really efficiency breaks down into three areas. For data centers, heat management is really one of the most important things that we do in terms of core efficiency. In a poorly designed facility, a facility that doesn’t concentrate on heat very much, you could easily pay 50% or 90% additional electricity bill for every watt that you deliver to a server.

Now at Facebook, because we’ve designed our own servers — and both servers and data centers that heat tax is only 7%, which means that we are using cold air from the outside, we’re not chilling air at all. We’re passing it across the servers, mixing it in a hot aisle and then evacuating it out the other side of the building. So in terms of raw thermal efficiency our data centers are second to none.

Now with servers, we pride ourselves in having a vanity free design and we really focus on supply chain optimization. In 2011 we released our first data center and our first set of servers. We also started the Open Compute Project, which I’m sure many of you are familiar with where we give away the designs to our servers and are very open about how we design, what our approach is and how we think about efficiency on the server level.

The other main efficiency win really comes from software and horizontal wins like HHVM or HPHP wins in cash, database and Web are all absolutely critical in continuing to deliver really efficient infrastructure.

So, during a peak time where one of our front-end clusters is really pretty piping hot, we can run for 10 hours of the day at about 90% to 93% server utilization. So we really work a tremendous amount on making sure that not only are the individual servers and the software optimized, but also the whole data center is optimized to provide content.

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We like blue, so all of our servers have blue LEDs. What you see here is, so these are the fronts of the servers here and that enclosed space is hot aisle containment. And so cold air comes in from the ceiling, it’s sucked through the servers and then inside that hot aisle containment, that temperature can reach up to 100 degrees. That hot air is then evacuated out of the building or potentially mixed during winter times.

So it’s a — thermally a very efficient system and the other thing you’ll notice is all of our servers look the same. And that’s because we really work hard on having a very homogenous footprint so that you get good wins in terms of serviceability, maintenance, drivers, everything else.

Now we’ve also been very open about all of our efficiency wins. So not only have we talked publicly released data center designs, not only have we released server designs, but we’ve also released most of the core software that powers Facebook. HHVM is our core PHP web server. It is ballpark five to six times more efficient than a traditional Apache stack.

Flashcache is a service that we use on databases that trades off flash caching and access to slower hard drives. Presto is one of our data processing, data warehouse pieces of software. [Rock Stevie] is a new release, Proxy, Thrift and Folly is a general library we use. So in all cases we really try to, as we’re able to support open sourcing a project, we try to keep it out there. And the reason for this is that we really believe that the entire industry can benefit from efficiency work that we do and that we can benefit from the industry feeding back and contributing new ideas and designs.

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