Twitter’s data center mystery deepens

Updated. What’s up with Twitter’s data center strategy? Twitter’s plans are reportedly in disarray according to sources I spoke with yesterday at our Structure 2011 conference in San Francisco. Two people shared that the microblogging service, which announced plans to build a Utah data center back in July 2010, will abandon the site entirely and move its servers to a data center in Sacramento, Calif.

I’ve reached out to Twitter for comment, but if this is true, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to those closely watching Twitter’s infrastructure moves. Update: Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner said via email that Twitter has not abandoned the Utah site and added, “I can also confirm that we have multiple sites, but I won’t go into further detail.”

In December, Data Center Knowledge reported that Twitter was moving its servers to Sacramento, and  Sacramento would be the service’s first data center expansion instead of Utah. At the time, Twitter didn’t comment on its Utah plans, but in Marc,h it announced it had moved into its new data center without ever naming the location of that data center.

Then in April, Reuters (s tri)  up on rumors that Twitter was moving servers from the Utah location to Sacramento, and indicated the data center in Bluffdale, Utah might no longer be Twitter’s home. The Salt Lake Tribune picked up on the rumors, and two days later confirmed that the “unnamed anchor tenant,” thought to be Twitter, was still in the Bluffdale facility.

The Reuters story cited insufficient power as a reason for Twitter’s move, and information offered by the Bluffdale, Utah facility’s owner C7 does show a marked reduction in power capacity from 10 megawatts available in Oct. 2010 when the facility launched to 8 megawatts of power available in March of this year, according to a second release. In April, Reuters quoted Wes Swenson, president of C7, as saying the facility had access to 5 megawatts.

The sources at Structure said the inability to get sufficient electricity to the site contributed to Twitter’s decision to move, and implied that the efforts to build in Bluffdale had been a disaster. Calls to Swenson were not returned.