Facebook Begins Building Its Own Data Centers

Rather than continuing with large leasing agreements as the company scales its user base, Facebook is deciding to develop their own data centers according to Rich Miller of Data Center Knowledge. The news comes at a time when Facebook is racing toward 400 million users. Given that the company has become “cash flow positive” and has more cash from the most recent DST investment, building their own data center makes more sense.

While the new data center has not been confirmed, Rich Miller states that it could be confirmed today at noon (Pacific time), “when Oregon Gov. Ted Kulogonski is scheduled to unveil the identity of Company X, the mysterious tenant in a data center project in Prineville, Oregon.” The servers will utilize a new power distribution configuration, first revealed back in November.

How does this new power configuration compare to traditional ones? I have absolutely no idea as I’m not a server person, however the main point is that Facebook will experience substantial savings on their electricity consumption. It takes a substantial number of servers and energy to keep Facebook running from day to day which is the primary reason Facebook is beginning to manage their own.

The key to Facebook’s improved energy efficiency is related to its “UPS (uninterruptible power supply) System”. Rather than forcing all power through the UPS as it travels to servers, on-board batteries are used, resulting in major efficiency gains. According to Data Knowledge Center, this system was adopted from Google, who first announced the improved model last April.

According to Rich Miller the new data center will be run on hydro power which will also provide additional savings.

Update
Facebook has posted more details about their new data center.