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Twitter’s data center mystery deepens

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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.

5 Responses to “Twitter’s data center mystery deepens”

  1. Having read the title of this post on the searches, I checked it out of curiosity. I thought that Twitter is going down the MySpace lane and will be shutting off soon.. This makes me think how vulnerable these third party sites are and they can come and go, anytime. For now, let’s enjoy what we can on the twitter clouds and tweet the day away.

  2. I think both FB and Twitter are starting to decline. The novelty is gone and most people who wanted to or forced to (due to peer pressure) have already joined both services. Think of it as stock price, if everybody owns a stock, the best strategy is to short it!

    • With this logic, if everyone is long on breathing, best bet is to.. stop breathing?

      So long as Twitter and Facebook continue to add value to peoples lives, the only rational reason to leave them is if more value can be derived from not being there. If that is possible (and it may very well be), I don’t know that it’s currently being shown.

      • You can’t bet against breathing, because you can’t find another guy who will bet against you. The pool for new users for Facebbook and twitter is getting smaller and what they add as value is questionable! Just think of endless hours wasted by people writing and reading garbage most of the time. Only small percentage of what goes to these sites is valuable, but most of that too gets lost in the noise.

  3. Twitter Employee

    Twitter has indeed abandoned the Utah datacenter, this can be confirmed via traceroutes to ARIN assigned ip addresses. The datacenter is practically empty. “Multiple Sites” probably refers to network only POPs. It’s getting embarrassing that our clueless leadership keeps hiding the fact that our infrastructure plans have failed multiple times.

    -Whistleblowing Employee