With 845 million users, and more than half of users logging in everyday, Facebook has provided some insight into how much it costs to run its infrastructure through the release of its IPO filing on Wednesday.
Facebook has invested more than $1 billion in its infrastructure, comprised of its own data centers in Oregon, North Carolina and Sweden, and leased facilities in California and Virginia, according to a report by Data Center Knowledge. Its lease obligations total $2.2 billion, though the filing does not break down how much of that is dedicated to leasing data center space or equipment. By building its own data centers and using custom equipment, Facebook expects to cut costs in this area.
The company spent $606 million on servers, storage, network gear and data centers in 2011, and anticipates another $500 million to be spent this year.
Facebook says that its data centers were the main reason for a 74 percent increase in its cost of revenue last year compared to 2010, according to a blog post on the Wall Street Journal.
“We expect to continue to invest in our global infrastructure in order to provide our products rapidly and reliably to all users around the world, including in countries where we do not expect significant short-term monetization. Our expenses may be greater than we anticipate, and our investments to make our business and our technical infrastructure more efficient may not be successful,” Facebook said in its filing.
Facebook started to use custom servers in 2011, and its first wholly-owned data center in Prineville, Oregon went live in April 2011. Facebook shared the details of its data center build through the Open Compute Project, publishing technical specifications and mechanical CAD files for the data center’s servers, power supplies, server racks, battery backup systems and building designs.
In the filing, Facebook says it expects its custom servers and owned data center in Oregon to reduce the cost and improve serviceability of servers, improve server cooling and power distribution across the data center and servers to minimize power loss.
Though it says its facilities are adequate for its current needs, a breakdown of its users by country indicates that while most of its users are US-based, 46 million users are in India, and 37 million from Brazil, two areas that may point to Facebook’s future expansion plans.¬† Though Facebook has explored entering China, it says concerns of legal and regulatory complexities have prevented its entry so far. It made its first move into Europe through Sweden last year.