Twitter to fight outages with new data center

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The Independent Online

Twitter will shift its technical operations to a new US data center later this year to better cope with the rocketing popularity of the hot microblogging service.

Twitter has been bedeviled by outages, most recently on Monday, when users were unable to sign in, update profiles or change background images for more than 12 hours until a software glitch was fixed, according to the service.

"When you can't update your profile photo, send a Tweet, or even sign on to Twitter, it's frustrating," Twitter spokesman Matt Graves said in a blog post late Wednesday.

"We know that, and we've had too many of these issues recently."

Twitter logged record-high spikes in use during the recent World Cup soccer championship in Africa and recently claimed that the service attracts 190 million visitors monthly.

By year's end, Twitter will move its technical operations into a custom-built data center near Salt Lake City, Utah, according to Jean-Paul Cozzatti of the San Francisco-based firm's engineering team.

"Keeping pace with record growth in Twitter's user base and activity presents some unique and complex engineering challenges," Cozzatti said in a blog post.

"We frequently compare the tasks of scaling, maintaining, and tweaking Twitter to building a rocket in mid-flight."

Twitter has grown rapidly since it launched in 2006, and said this week that more than 300,000 people sign up for new accounts daily.

The dedicated data center, Twitter's first, will give the company capacity to handle more users and activity, according to Cozzatti. Twitter plans to bring additional data centers online in the coming two years.

Twitter, which combines the strengths of blogs and instant messaging services, enables users to send and receive short messages of up to 140 characters on personal computers and mobile devices.