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Exclusive: Facebook’s Western European Expansion

DUBLIN, Ireland  — Dan Madrigal leads strategy development and implementation of European and US expansion for Facebookthrough the acquisition of critical assets and development of core infrastructure. Madrigal was interviewed by Kemal Hawa,Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, at The Western European Data Centre Summit on 20 July. Produced by CapRate Events and hosted at The Westin Dublin, the event was attended by more than 200 industry professionals who came to hear more than 40 experts discuss important trends and patterns, including connectivity to the Americas, global compliance and sovereignty, the competitive environment and cost advantages, strategies for “the cloud game,” and the impact of new development.


Hawa began the discussion by asking Madrigal about Facebook data center deployments in western Europe, specifically Facebook's Edge deployments with respect to the data center hubs. Madrigal explained that Facebook has EDGE deployments in most major markets where Facebook is available. Concentrating on latency-sensitive applications like FB Messenger and peer-to-peer financial transactions, EDGE is the preferred platform, said Madrigal. This is opposed to an application like Instagram where time to delivery is not as critical to the end user. Madrigal also spoke about his Open Compute Project (OCP) which integrates data center design and server design into one ecosystem, built in tandem, to leverage the strengths of both the physical structure and the hardware it houses. As a result, OCP data centers are more environmentally friendly and use less energy than their counterparts.

Hawa then inquired about build vs. lease options when contemplating a data center. Madrigal explained that if a potential data center will be utilized for less than 12 years, he considers leasing, whereas longer term utilization is more likely a build/own strategy for Facebook. He used the simple analogy of leasing vs. owning a car, where depending on mileage or time of use, one option may be better than the other. The same is true for data centers says Madrigal. He also touched on partnerships when contemplating shared data centers, specifically a partner that can increase scale during the lease term.

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