Facebook's Infrastructure work in Seattle

Facebook is expanding its presence in Seattle and part of that work is in infrastructure.

The Seattletimes has an article with some details on what Facebook does in Seattle.

Q: Are the folks in Seattle doing infrastructure?

A:Yes they're doing all sorts of projects, but there's a good contingent of folks here doing infrastructure software. Many of the tools we use to manage and run the site are built here.

Q: Will you offer those tools?

A: We do, to the open-source community. A number of the projects we've built, we open-sourced. Actually much of our infrastructure — much more so than many of our competitors — is open-sourced.

We actually open-sourced the designs of our advanced datacenters. We built one of the world's most efficient datacenters not too far away from here — in Prineville, Ore. — and you can go online and download the CAD files for that building.

So if you want to build one just like it, we've got all the specs you need.

Q: Are you ever going to commercialize that stuff — and sell, instead of share it?

A: No, I think we want to see innovation in that part of the industry. We've got a great set of engineers and we can build more value by making the site faster and run better and getting more users to be happy with it. Who knows what we'll do in the future, but not any immediate plans for that.

Q: Does Seattle have special cluster infrastructure expertise or is it spread around the San Francisco Bay Area as well?

A: I think what Seattle has is a critical mass density of engineers. It's cool to be an engineer in Seattle; it's not a surprising thing. There's been a long enough history of it, a number of good universities like the University of Washington, a number of good tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft and Boeing who've been here.

It's that kind of culture and critical mass that is somewhat rare in the world and why we decided to come here specifically. That density of engineering is really valuable.