I watched with some interest when the news of Facebook receiving $100m from TriplePoint Capital for server upgrades broke out a couple of days ago. It’s quite timely because there’s been increasing chatter about Facebook being very laggy. I’m not entirely sure if it’s because of growth or because there’s increasing resource usage because of things like the FB Chat and all but it’s probably a combination of both. Either way, what seems rather untimely is the decision of the CTO, Adam D’Angelo, to leave. Apparently, his main area of interest was Engineering but the role of CTO was too far off from that.
See, it’s not just about the money.
Last month, I wrote about Facebook’s insatiable hunger for hardware. Over the weekend, Spencer Ante of Business Week reported that Palo Alto-based social networking company had raised about $100 million from Triplepoint Capital, a venture lending operation. “It will be used entirely for servers,” Facebook Chief Financial Officer Gideon Yu told Business Week’s Ante. That gives us a sense of how much hardware is gulping down.
In other words, Facebook could easily increase its number of servers from current estimates of about 10,000 servers to over 50,000 servers, in order to keep up with its growth. Various web analytic companies estimate that Facebook as over 100 million visitors and serves up billions of pages every month. One of my sources had told me that Facebook was looking to spend about $9 million this year on hardware, but apparently, their needs are much bigger. All that spending should prove to be good news for Rackable (RACK) which has been a big server supplier to Facebook.
Facebook has built an enviable infrastructure. I personally believe that their desire to market Facebook Connect is a way to offload some of the pressures Facebook apps are placing on their system, but at some later stage. Regardless, one exec who is not going to be around to help architect the next phase of Facebook’s back end bulk-up: CTO Adam D’Angelo, who left the company according to Kara Swisher and Eric Eldon.
Facebook spokeswoman confirmed the news and added that “D’Angelo will be transitioning out of his role as CTO and leaving Facebook to take some time off.” The company is currently looking for a VP of Engineering. Apparently, Adam’s main interest was engineering and the CTO role moved him too far away from that.
by Om Malik
( Source : GigaOm )