Facebook-Inspired Designs Are Helping Some Companies Build Data Centers On the Cheap
Frank Frankovsky, vice president of hardware design and supply-chain operations at Facebook. Facebook
Hardware costs can add up quickly in the era of big data.
As large companies collect, analyze and store increasing quantities of information, the expense of adding servers, hard drives and other equipment is threatening to crimp their big-data plans. Indeed, hardware sales related to corporate-data projects are expected to more than double to $15.7 billion in 2017 from $7.16 billion last year, according to Wikibon, a Marlborough, Mass., research organization.
Against that backdrop, more companies may take a page from Facebook Inc., FB -1.57% which has managed to squeeze hardware costs, largely by designing and building its own servers and data centers. The Menlo Park, Calif., social-networking company says the strategy has helped it save $1.2 billion over the past three years.