Feeds

Facebook turns on frigid Swedish ice-maidens in new data centre

And by maidens, we mean slim, 'vanity-free', low-maintenance models

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

If you Like this post, some of the processing that spams it all over your Facebook wall could now take place in Europe, thanks to the opening of Facebook's new data center near the Arctic circle.

The social networking giant announced on Wednesday that its 900,000 square foot facility in Lulea, Sweden, is now "handling live traffic from around the world" – giving users lower latency when accessing the social network, and Swedish spooks the opportunity to hoover up all the data passing through Zuck & Co's bit barn.

Opening of the facility appears to have been delayed by around half a year, as when Facebook first announced it in October 2011, the company said the facility would be serving Facebook users within 12 months. At the time of writing Facebook hadn't responded to a request for information on reasons for the delay.

The Lulea, Sweden facility is expected to be one of the most efficient public data centers in the world thanks to its use of fresh air cooling and earth-friendly energy via use of power generated by hydroelectric dams.

Its opening also blows a chill wind for traditional IT suppliers, as it is a poster child for Facebook's radical new approach to hardware design.

"Nearly all the technology in the facility, from the servers to the power distribution systems, is based on Open Compute Project designs," the company beamed in a blog post on Wednesday. "This Facebook-founded initiative encourages the development of 'vanity-free' hardware designs that are highly efficient and leave out unnecessary bits of metal and plastic. These designs are then shared with the broader community, so anyone can use or improve them."

Facebook says the power usage effectiveness (PUE) of the facility should be 1.07 – which means that for every watt spent on powering IT gear, .07 watts are spent on the supporting equipment that keeps the social networking humming.

This compares well with the rest of the IT industry, whose trailing PUE average tends to fall between 1.5 and 1.8, depending on who you ask. Facebook's facility may even beat best-in-class data centers from Google on this metric, as they run at between 1.08 and 1.12

But due to a controversial internet surveillance law named FRA, the Swedes will be able to intercept any traffic that passes through their borders. We here on El Reg's warrant-less government surveillance desk feel sorry for the spooks that will now have to stare at the flood of social data streaming into their country. But then again, their plight is nothing next to those working at the NSA, who have allegedly been staring at everything that passes through Facebook anyway. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer
E7-8895 v2 chips are best of the bunch, and with firmware-unlocked speed control
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.