Facebook Unveils Plans of Sustainable Data Center

Today, Jonathan Heiliger, Vice President of Technical Operations at Facebook revealed designs of Facebook’s new data center. This Data Center will be one of the first buildings that are exclusively being designed for Facebook. The Data Center will be based in Prineville, Ore and is being designed keeping the environment in mind. This new building will be eco friendly and energy efficient. It will operate on Energy-Efficient Technologies.

A Data Center is a central hub where thousands of computer servers are stored. These computer servers are ‘networked together and linked to the outside world through fiber optic cables.’ The Facebook Data Center is important because all our Facebook experience is stored in this center – When a user creates a Facebook profile, changes or deletes a photo, writes a comment, or adds a friend the servers in the Data Center receive this information, compute it and act on it to make sure that you get results instantaneously.

Jonathan outlines the Energy-Efficient Technologies that the Facebook Data Center will operate on:

  • ” Evaporative cooling system: This system evaporates water to cool the incoming air, as opposed to traditional chiller systems that require more energy intensive equipment. This process is highly energy efficient and minimizes water consumption by using outside air.
  • Airside economizer: The facility will be cooled by simply bringing in colder air from the outside. This feature will operate for between 60 percent and 70 percent of the year. The remainder of the year requires the use of the evaporative cooling system to meet temperature and humidity requirements.
  • Re-use of server heat: A portion of the excess heat created by the computer servers will be captured and used to heat office space in the facility during the colder months.
  • Proprietary Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) technology: All data centers must have an uninterruptible power supply to continuously provide power to servers. The Prineville data center will use a new, patent-pending UPS system that reduces electricity usage by as much as 12 percent.”

It’s admirable that corporations like Facebook are designing technologies, buildings and information keeping the environment in mind. 2010 is definitely the year of Green and Sustainable practices.

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

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