Hunting the Twitter Fail Whale

Twitter’s renowned Fail Whale has been working so much lately that it had to deploy a stand-in during the microblogging service’s most recent outage.

TwitterLogo.jpgBut if NTT America has any say in it, the Fail Whale will become a rare sight in the tweetstream. The network provider today announced it has opened a 15,000-square-foot data center in Silicon Valley.

From TechCrunch:

Big deal, you might think, a network provider expands its capacity. Except this network provider has a very high-profile client: Twitter.

Though Twitter is never actually mentioned in NTT’s press release, the blog Data Center Knowledge put two and two together, recalling a quote in June from NTT America COO Kazuhiro Gomi: “traffic generated by Twitter is getting so big, it’s basically eating up a lot of our data center network resources, especially the segment where Twitter is hosted. Other customers are riding on the same segment.”

How much is Twitter straining the network? According to Data Center Knowledge:

Twitter experienced 752 percent traffic growth in 2008, but that was nothing compared to the traffic explosion in the first half of 2009, as the microblogging service went mainstream and was widely adopted by celebrities and a growing number of businesses.

Sure, blame the celebrities. Dan Abrams will have something to say about this.

NTT America began hosting Twitter traffic in 2008, resulting in less downtime from the previous year. But Twitter has seen frequent outages this year, including a denial of service attack on Aug. 6 that halted traffic for hours.