Facebook's Energy Efficient Data Center  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

Fast Company has an article on Facebook's new 147,000 square foot, energy efficient data centre in Oregon - Facebook Buys Dedicated Data Center, Could Servers Be Far Behind? .

Facebook is so mind-bogglingly vast--350 million users, 70% of them actively using applications on the service--that it's almost impossible to comprehend what it does with all that data. Which makes it surprising that it's taken this long for Facebook to open a purpose-built and self-owned data center. What's more, this move could clear a path for Facebook to design and build its own servers. ...

Which is where Oregon enters the frame, and today's news that Facebook will be moving into a purpose-built multi-million dollar data center facility in Prineville. Oregon was able to offer Facebook "a unique combination of suitable climate for environmental cooling, renewable power resources" as well as the availability of a suitable site, the company's Director of Site Operation, Tom Furlong, noted in Governor Ted Kulongoski's press release on the matter. Apparently the facility will be designed to meet LEED gold standards, employing innovative cooling and power management to "make it one of the most energy efficient data centers in the United States."

Which is pretty impressive credentials for what many have dismissed as a "time wasting" social networking fad that's barely making any profit. It also means Facebook's joining the growing trend of highly eco-conscious data centers, which will be an important move as our increasingly online life generates more and more data.

Heiliger also hinted that there are more innovative moves like this on the way--along the lines of "designing and building our own servers." The evolution from building huge data centers to designing servers is not uncommon, Google did the same thing. One requirement for building such hardware is to have a verifiably secure facility to experiment with new server architecture, which this data center will clearly supply.

Cryptogon puts the size of this data centre in context, with a post noting that some new government data centres are over 10 times the size of Facebook's - Feds Push for Tracking Cell Phones.
For years, my guess has been that this other angle of the mass intercept program is related to persistent geosurveillance of targeted individuals. At a minimum, this is probably a component of the MAIN CORE system.

In the article below, Declan McCullagh writes, “Cellular providers tend not to retain moment-by-moment logs of when each mobile device contacts the tower, in part because there’s no business reason to store the data, and in part because the storage costs would be prohibitive.”

Just a few days ago, another of McCullagh’s articles made a similar, limited hangout argument about the retention of URLs.

Focusing on the network operators misses the point. The beam splitters don’t discriminate; they send a copy of everything, every single bit, to Uncle. So, sure, the carriers don’t want to spend money on archiving all of that surveillance data, but what is the state doing with its copy of the stream? ...


Brand New 1.5 Million Square Foot NSA Data Centers (Utah / Texas)


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