It's always a big deal when a company like Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft begins to build another data center; the move proves that they've got a fair amount of cash on hand and are growing at an impressive rate. More significant, though, may be the idea of a company first getting into the DIY data center business, and Facebook appears to have reached that juncture.
Rich Miller reported yesterday, "Facebook has decided to begin building its own data centers, and may announce its first facility as soon as tomorrow. The fast-growing social network has previously leased server space from wholesale data center providers, but has grown to the point where the economics favor a shift to a custom-built infrastructure."
The facility Facebook's rumored to be behind is under right now construction and will cover 117,245 square feet in Prineville, Oregon. Unless some seriously innovative construction techniques and types of hardware are employed, it's sure to cost more than $100 million, and data centers often carry price tags along the lines of $500 million.
Then, when the construction's done, Miller writes that it will take about 35 people to staff the data center.
So Facebook does indeed seem to be making a major move. We'll try to relay more details as they become available.
UPDATE: Yep, it's official.