Facebook reveals plan for new archival data centre
Bit barn will hold all the photos you don't care about any more
Facebook has discussed details of a new data centre it is building to house photos nobody looks at any more.
The Social Network TM already has two data centres in the spot the new one will splash down, namely the town of Prineville, Oregon. Facebook's going back to Prineville because the town's altitude and climate mean its air is nicely dry and chilly, just the combination to help with passive cooling of a data centre and thereby keep energy costs low. Power costs can also be low in Oregon, which boasts a string of dams along local rivers.
The new data centre won't just enjoy the cold: The Oregonian says it will also be a “cold” facility as the kit within won't be switched on most of the time. That's because the new bit barn will be used to store files users don't access very often. Facebook has a lot of those: apparently 82 per cent of traffic goes towards eight per cent of its photos.
Facebook knows the cold storage arrangement will mean a wait for old photos, but with operating costs for this data centre said to be one third of those in “hot” facilities it won't mind a bit if you wait a bit for your bits.
The Oregonian says the facility will have three data halls, each capable of storing one exabyte. Plans call for the first to open in the northern hemisphere's autumn. ®
.. while Europe is doing battle with the US about the right to be forgotten.
I guess the [CENSORED] doesn't like to lose that data - agencies are like that.
Seems very sensible
I'm sure many large sites could benefit from a similar approach - how often do I look at my 5-year-old google mails f'rinstance? (Oops, I forgot, I suppose the CIA looks at them daily) And large digital imaging projects like the Welsh Newspapers Online that the National Library are about to launch - many terabytes but they won't all be accessed every week.
But what sort of latency are we talking about to spin up and retrieve something in the archive ? 10 seconds? Are others working on offering a similar setup for a home/SME NAS box?
photos nobody looks at any more
What photos are these, and to whom do they belong? From the article, I'm just not getting any idea of what this thing is really about.