Feeds

Facebook 'open sources' custom server and data center designs

The last rule of Google 'Fight Club'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The chill in Mountain View

Google is currently operating a chiller-less data center in Belgium, and Microsoft is building one in Ireland. But these are a tad different. Microsoft is using Direct eXpansion (DX) cooling – similar to traditional air conditioning – while it seems that Google uses a software system that automatically shifts loads to other data centers when outside temperature get too high. The system is called Spanner, and though Google has been coy about its use of Spanner, the company has publicly presented a paper on the platform.

Facebook is building a second custom-built data center in western North Carolina, where local tax breaks have made it data-center hot spot housing several big names, including Google and Apple. The weather in North Carolina is less temperate, so the company may have to make changes to its cooling systems. And Heiliger told us that the company is already making changes to its hardware designs for use in the North Carolina facility.

There have been rumblings that Facebook would switch to ARM servers or other "massively multi-core" server designs, but Heiliger indicated to us that there are no definite plans to do so. But he did say that the company is always evaluating new designs.

Facebook data center - interior, lit up

Well, the racks are modular...(click to enlarge)

The company is not using the sort of modular data center design popularized by Google and picked up by the likes of Microsoft. Google has long used such designs, and it has long built its own servers. The company did reveal some of its designs in the spring of 2009, but this was years after the fact – and these were apparently not its latest designs.

Heiliger's "Fight Club" line was surely aimed at Google. When we asked Heiliger about Facebook's decision to release its server and data-center designs, he equated the decision to open sourcing back-end software, an area in which Facebook is also putting Google to a certain amount of shame.

"We think the bigger value comes back to us over time," he told us, "just as it did with open source software. Many people will now be looking at our designs. This is a 1.0. We hope this will accelerate what everyone is doing." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.