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Facebook's big data plans include warehouses, faster analytics

Zach Miners | May 2, 2013
An engineer reveals during an industry conference how the site is working to make its backend data processing more efficient

"We're increasingly thinking about how to capture this data," he said.

The company is also working on a system that takes a completely different approach to query the warehouse to give a response time within a matter of seconds, Murthy said.

Another area Facebook is continually looking at improving is its "transactional infrastructure," which handles the more basic, day-to-day data processing of, say, likes, comments and status updates to keep the social network running smoothly. Some of the questions the company's engineers and analysts are looking at include figuring out how to forecast the actual growth in this type of data, and how much computing Facebook should really allot for it, Murthy said.

"Can we predict what it's going to be six months from now?" he said.

Meanwhile, Facebook is also involved in a long-term effort to make its physical servers more efficient. The company began its Open Compute Project in 2011, with the goal of designing modularized servers that give customers greater control over the networking, memory, power supplies and other components that go into their servers. It was expanded to incorporate ARM processors in January.

 

 

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