The headline on a Facebook-Intel announcement today is FB's selection of Intel-based processors to beef up its infrastructure as the company expands. That's good news for Intel. Facebook has become one of the most popular Web 2.0 sites/platforms on the Internet and people are starting to use it as a replacement for e-mail, photo- and video-sharing and more. A redesign of the site is being launched now and its seems that everyday there's some sort of new application built on Facebook's open-source platform. (Someone actually "bought" me as a pet the other day. Seriously.)
But this announcement is about more than just boasting a big score for Intel. This is testing ground for the future of open-source Web 2.0 development. The companies lay it out for us in their release:
Both companies envision that the collaboration may benefit not only Facebook, but ideally the Web 2.0 industry at-large. Intel plans to work with Facebook to evaluate ways to improve its software performance on Intel-based servers. Intel has a wealth of software engineering expertise as well as such tools as Intel VTune™ and Intel Thread Checker to help companies improve application performance on multi-core Intel processors. Since Facebook’s applications are mostly built on open source technologies, the companies believe that some of the insights from this collaboration may be contributed back to the open source community, benefiting other companies that use similar underlying technologies.
That's a good spin. No one wins when popular, trend-setting, cutting-edge sites go down. (Just ask Twitter about it's efficiency problems.) It's good to see that Facebook is recognizing that early. As Jonathan Heiliger, vice president of Technical Operations at Facebook, said, “When you are responsible for providing a fast, high-quality experience to more than 90 million people worldwide, every ounce of efficiency matters."