I know they helped with the IPO, but it seems that Goldman Sachs thinks it has a lot to learn from Facebook on the technology side:
"Finance is a very technology-dependent business," says Don Duet, a global co-chief operating officer in Goldman’s technology division. "We have a substantial infrastructure footprint, and over the past four or five years, we've been moving into a scale-out-type model that's very similar to the big web firms.The first question which comes to mind: who is Don Duet and what has he done?
Don joined Goldman Sachs in 1988 as an associate in the Technology Department within Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities in New York. He transitioned to a number of roles within Technology [...] He was named managing director in 2000 and partner in 2006.Huh? Marist College? Looks like a small college in upstate NYC with not much in the way of a grad school element. So Don joined GS straight from school, and learned enough to be dangerous, then played the politics game to rise though the ranks of GS technology division. This should be entertaining. I hazard a guess that Duet doesn't know enough to know what he doesn't know.
Don earned a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from Marist College in 1988.
What is Don Duet planning for GS?
Duet says it hopes to have these servers up and running within six months. "We want to get the point where we have machines that inherit some of the properties of the original Facebook designs, but actually work in more classic data centers."Oh, Lordy. So Duet thinks that the computing problems that Facebook, Google and Goldman Sachs face are similar enough to adopt the same strategy in hardware? I don't even know where to start. And for state-of-the-art GS hardware he's taking the approach that GOOG took 8 years ago? WTF? GS is rumoured to have about 40,000 servers, vs the rumoured 30,000 FB servers in 2009, which (at an annual doubling) represents ~250K servers today; similarly, Google at 1mm servers in 2009 and maybe a slower growth rate should still be somewhere over 2mm servers today.
In another echo of the big web players, Goldman has also made the move to "containerized" data centers. About eight years ago, Google started piecing its data centers together using shipping containers packed with servers and other gear.
The other point I find significant is that in the whole interview Duet never mentions measuring how well GS is using the computers that they have. If their average utilization were 40%, and they could double this by introducing a market in computing resources among the GS divisions, that would be a doubled capacity for free. Maybe efficiency isn't what Duet sees himself as being paid for.
As a GS buddy of mine acerbically notes: "I'm sure, whatever happens, it will be declared a success [by Don Duet]."