Facebook Flips Switch On Data Center In Luleå, Sweden

By David Cohen 

Facebook’s newest data center, in Luleå, Sweden, went live Wednesday, and the social network said the new facility has the potential to be one of the world’s most efficient and sustainable data centers.

The company pointed out that all of the equipment inside the new data center is powered by locally generated hydroelectric energy, and its supply is 100 percent renewable, enabling it to slash the total number of backup generators required by more than 70 percent.

Facebook added in a note on the Luleå Data Center page:

In addition to harnessing the power of water, we are using the chilly Nordic air to cool the thousands of servers that store your photos, videos, comments, and likes. Any excess heat that is produced is used to keep our office warm.

Our commitment to energy efficiency is also evident inside Luleå’s giant data halls. Nearly all of the technology in the facility, from the servers to the power distribution systems, is based on Open Compute Project designs. 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.

All of this adds-up to a pretty impressive power usage efficiency number. In early tests, Facebook’s Luleå data center is averaging a PUE in the region of 1.07. As with our other data centers, we will soon be adding a real-time PUE monitor so everyone can see how we are performing on a minute-by-minute basis.

Facebook Vice President of Site Operations Tom Furlong told AP when the Luleå data center was first announced in October 2011 that European users will see better performance due to a data-traffic node located closer to them, adding:

Facebook has more users outside of the U.S. than inside. It was time for us to expand in Europe.