Saturday, June 15, 2024

Facebook Opens Data Center Near Arctic Circle

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Facebook has opened its first data center outside the U.S. The facility is located on the edge of the Arctic Circle, which will help reduce cooling costs, and all of its servers will be based on Facebook’s Open Compute designs.

CNET’s Dan Farber reported, “More than 900 kilometers from Stockholm, at the edge of Arctic Circle, Facebook’s latest data center is churning through status updates, messages, photos, ads, and other output from among the company’s 1.1 billion worldwide users, most of whom are outside the U.S. The 290,000 square-foot facility in Lulea, Sweden, also known as the Node Pole, takes advantage of the abundance of water and cool climate to go more green. It relies on the relatively cheap hydro-electric energy available to power its servers and the icy Nordic air to keep them cool.”

The Next Web’s Emil Protalinski explained, “Facebook chose Luleå for at least three big reasons. First, it’s a prime location to take advantage of outside cooling: the temperature has not been above 30°C (86°F) for more than 24 hours since 1961 and the average temperature is around 2°C (36°F). Next, dams on the Luleå river generate so much renewable electricity that half can be exported. Lastly, Sweden has a dense fiber-optic network, so data can flow reliably to the rest of Europe, and beyond.”

Ars Technca’s Jon Brodkin noted that the facility is “the company’s first in Europe and the first to use only servers designed by Facebook itself. The milestone is a result of Facebook’s two-year-old Open Compute Project, in which the company created its own specifications for servers and shared them with the world for anyone to use. Instead of buying servers directly from the likes of HP and Dell, Facebook creates more efficient designs that strip out extraneous hardware and software and then pays original design manufacturers to build them.”

SlashGear’s Craig Lloyd noted, “Facebook has data centers in Oregon, North Carolina, and now Sweden, with plans for a fourth data center in Iowa that’s set to open for business next year.”

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