Facebook Considers Purchase of Second Webserver

facebookserverPALO ALTO, CA – The popular online social networking/anonymous stalking utility known as Facebook has enjoyed explosive growth since its founding in 2004. When Facebook founder and small Massachusetts college dropout Mark Zuckerberg started the site out of his dorm room, he had originally hosted it with bargain hosting service GoDaddy. Once Facebook’s popularity soared, however, he decided to move it to a dedicated server in his garage, as shown in the photo to the right, because his mom “wouldn’t let [him] put it anywhere else.”

Since then, Facebook has grown into an enormous network with 300 million users, serving over 40 billion pages per month and employing 700 people. However, with all of the excitement, nobody ever remembered to upgrade the server. Zuckerberg recalled:

“We sort of got really caught up in raising money and hiring people. And Scrabulous. Once we actually had a staff, we got to work on adding applications to determine which cellular organelle your personality matches best, and just totally forgot about the fact that we should probably pick up a few more boxes.”

We discussed the possibility of expanding Facebook’s server usage with Facebook engineer Chinko Chisai, who illuminated some of the challenges:

“When Microsoft invested that $240 million with us a while ago, we were kind of like, how cool would it be to use it for an online poker tournament—a grudge match between Marky Mark and Myspace Tom? Anyways, long story short, we didn’t have enough money left afterward to buy a server and Mark really needed new pants for his court hearings—I mean, board meetings. And um, dates with girls?”

In an interview with Tiger, Peter Robinson, a software engineer and expert on server infrastructure,  explained just how serious the problem actually is:

“You see, high traffic websites like Google or Yahoo tend to use not just multiple servers, but multiple data centers around the country each housing in the neighborhood of 50,000 servers. So you see, one server from 1998 isn’t really the appropriate choice for the 5th most trafficked website on the internet.”

When Tiger inquired further about the need for more than one server, Zuckerberg responded:

“Look, okay, I know it needs to happen—but I have a lot on my mind this week. I checked my Honesty Box this morning and someone said ‘You think you’re all that, but you’re not.’ It’s hard to deal with the constant criticism and scrutiny from the press. Also, I just took a quiz that said if I were an Entourage character I’d be Turtle! I don’t want to be Turtle, God dammit!”

Update: We just received word from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that on his way back from our interview, he did indeed make a quick stop at MicroCenter and pick up another server. He plans to get some people together and install it over the weekend.

-BE

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