Facebook’s Prineville, Ore., Data Center Addition Will Be Pretty Cool

By Justin Lafferty 

We know that Facebook plans to expand its data center in Prineville, Ore. Recent filings show that the new building will be pretty cool — literally. Facebook has given the new center the nickname of Sub-Zero. Wired wrote more about Facebook’s plans for the additional data center.

Wired offered some more details as to what it will be like inside the new building, a mini-data center that Facebook is building next to its current Prineville, Ore., center:

The plan is to use the building to house a brand-new type of low-power deep-storage device that Facebook engineers will cook up over the next six to nine months. They’re designing a hard-disk storage server that powers off when it’s not in use, says Tom Furlong, vice president of site operations at Facebook. “It’s going to sit in a dedicated building that is optimized to support this device that we don’t need to access very often.”

What will this building be like? Boxy and quiet, with rows of low-powered machines clicking on and off, says Furlong.

The data center addition will be smaller (62,000 feet) than the main Prineville data center (334,000 square feet). However, Facebook is also building another center the same size as the larger one — which will eventually make for three data storage buildings on the site.

Wired‘s Robert McMillan noted that the goal of the Sub-Zero center is to cut back on energy use. Facebook recently released reports on energy and water usage at data centers, and the site stated its goals to become more eco-friendly.

They hope to seriously cut power consumption with Sub-Zero. Right now, a rack of Facebook servers burns about 4.5 kilowatts. In the Sub-Zero data center, the goal is to drop this to around 1.5 kW.

Facebook wants to add a second Sub-Zero-type storage facility next to its Forest City, N.C., data center, Furlong says.

Readers: Are you happy that Facebook is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to going green?