Facebook Breaking Ground on First Custom Data Center

January 27, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Facebook announced through its company blog that it has broken ground on its first custom data center in Prineville, Oregon. Initially the company leased data center space alongside other companies in the same building. As its user base continued to grow the company reached the point where it was more efficient to lease entire buildings on its own. The company is now ready to build its own.

The data center will use several energy-efficiency technologies, including:

– 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 and 70% 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%.