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Twitter data center still in Utah — honest

Published April 5, 2011 9:37 am

Technology • Report and problems aside, facility is operating in Bluffdale.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Twitter is not closing or downgrading its data center in the Salt Lake City area. And that's official, unofficially.

Trouble is, getting a straight answer from anyone directly involved is close to impossible, given that no one will acknowledge on the record where the California company has located the first data center it owns to help run the fast-growing, wildly popular micro-blogging site.

For the record, the Twitter center is in a Bluffdale building on Pony Express Road visible from the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 near the Salt Lake County-Utah County line. But its present and future came into question last week when a report from a news agency citing unnamed sources said problems at the Utah facility had led the company to seek another location. Servers were pulled from Utah and moved to Sacramento, the report said.

Neither officials from Twitter nor C7 Data Centers of Lindon, the (unofficial) Twitter data center host, on Monday commented on the report.

While saying there were "errors" in the news report but not being specific, Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner said, "What matters for Twitter now is that we're in a great place."

She declined to specify where that place was, but the company has never disputed stories in The Tribune saying the place was Bluffdale.

Wes Swenson, president of C7, dances around who the "anchor client" is at the company's Bluffdale facility. But that client — not named for security reasons — was still there Monday.

"If [an unnamed anchor tenant] was in there, they're still a paying customer and they have not gone anywhere," he said.

Swenson said the Bluffdale site did experience some water problems during construction but a new roof was in place by the time it began operating.

"I can't comment specifically on Twitter," he said Monday, "but I will say we had to move a customer in there before the site was ready."

Swenson said the facility also had plenty of power and bandwidth. But he said any company trying to cope with "hyper growth" is moving equipment around constantly to try to keep up.

"If [fill in the name of a rapidly growing micro-blogging company based in California] moved product out, it's not unlikely they'll move things back in," he said.

Twitter announced, in an engineering blog no less, last July that it would open a data center in the Salt Lake City area to help it keep up with explosive growth. The announcement was seen by officials as a feather in the state's economic development cap and a boost to efforts to build on Utah's small but robust technology industry.

Last month, the Twitter engineering blog said the company is now operating three data centers, fulfilling its technical strategy. The other two centers reportedly are in Sacramento and San Jose, Calif.







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