Monthly Archives: November 2014

How Facebook whizzes made “Look Back” videopalooza happen

download (1)We’ve written a bit about the infrastructure challenges Facebook faced in providing more than 700 million Look Back videos to its users. But if you want more of the nitty gritty, take a look at the video below of Goranka Bjedov’s talk at the recent Facebook data@scale event. Hosted near Facebook’s newish Cambridge facility, this was the first such event to occur outside California.  Obviously, that didn’t happen in this case because the applications side of the house had proposed Look Back to the higher-ups and, as they informed Bjedov, “Mark really liked the idea” — Mark being, of course, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook’s Open Source Virtual Machine HHVM Stabilized

Facebook_Iowa_34 (1)Open source virtual machine project HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) has made a breakthrough. Facebookand WP Engine, which provides a WordPress-based content management platform, have enabled HHVM and PHP to run side by side, making HHVM more feasible for production. While the news will be of interest to developers, HHVM’s maturity is something the industry at large should take into account.

DCD Converged: Open Compute is like one big OEM

7752_Cole-CrawfordThe Open Compute Project (OCP) helps large corporate customers get the best deal for their money, according to Cole Crawford, its executive director. During an opening keynote at the DCD Converged conference in London, he compared OCP to a ‘buyer’s club, an organization that pools its members’ collective buying power, enabling them to make purchases at lower prices than are generally available, or to purchase goods that might be difficult to obtain independently.

Facebook gives its server racks a Tesla touch

coordryoldbp-100530655-primary.idgeMatt Corddry, Facebook’s director of hardware engineering, should be grateful to Tesla. Not because he drives one (he doesn’t), but because the popularity of its electric cars could help Facebook take a little more cost out of running its data centers. Corddry runs Facebook’s hardware engineering lab, which designs the cutting-edge servers, storage gear and other equipment that power its services. It shares those designs with the outside world through the Facebook-led Open Compute Project, and one of the technologies on his mind these days is lithium-ion batteries.

After criticizing it, Cisco joins Open Compute

downloadCisco has joined the Open Compute Project, a Facebook-driven effort to develop open source servers and switches, 16 months after criticizing it. At that time, Cisco CEO John Chambers said OCP has “weaknesses” that Cisco can exploit. Chambers said efforts like Facebook’s to commoditize and wring cost out of hardware purchases will open up opportunities for Cisco to provide solutions that are better tailored to specific customer needs: