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Facebook Announces Green, Open Compute Data Center in Ireland

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Facebook is gearing up to open another data center, this time in Clonee, Ireland. It joins the social media giant’s Lulea facility in Sweden as its second data center in Europe.

“The facility will become part of the infrastructure that enables billions of people to connect with the people and things they care about on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and more,” said Tom Furlong, vice president of Infrastructure for Facebook, in a Jan. 24 announcement. And in keeping with an industry-wide push toward more environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient IT operations, the company plans to incorporate clean energy generation and power-sipping systems that adhere to open source hardware specifications.

“Clonee will be packed full of cutting-edge technology, making it one of the most advanced, efficient and sustainable data centers in the world,” Furlong. “All the racks, servers, and other components have been designed and built from scratch as part of the Open Compute Project, an industry-wide coalition of companies dedicated to creating energy- and cost-efficient infrastructure solutions and sharing them as open source.”

Facebook kicked off the Open Compute Project in 2011 in an effort to usher in an era of efficient data center systems and reduce the power requirements of massive computing facilities. Since then, the initiative has garnered the support of IT and cloud heavyweights, including HP, Intel, Microsoft and Rackspace.

To further lower the new data center’s environmental impact, Facebook will rely on Ireland’s breezy weather.

“Our data center in Clonee will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, thanks to Ireland’s robust wind resources,” Furlong stated. “This will help us reach our goal of powering 50 percent of our infrastructure with clean and renewable energy by the end of 2018.”

Facebook’s data center footprint it growing at a brisk pace. In July, the company announced it was building another green facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

The data center, Facebook’s fifth, will be completely powered by renewable energy, “thanks to the 200 MW of new wind energy we helped bring to the Texas grid as part of this deal,” said Furlong in a statement at the time. In November 2014, the company announced it had flipped the switch on its Altoona, Iowa data center. Also drawing energy from renewable sources, the data center is the company’s first “to take advantage of our innovative new networking fabric, which will help us scale much more efficiently as more and more people connect on Facebook around the world,” announced Brice Towns, site manager at Facebook’s Altoona data center.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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