Facebook’s Altoona, Iowa data center is now live


Facebook’s fourth data center is now live. The Altoona, Iowa center opened today, with the next-generation architecture Facebook calls data fabric.

Brice Towns, site manager of the Altoona data center wrote about the opening in a blog post:

This is the fastest we’ve ever completed a first building at one of our sites, and we owe a lot of that to the people of Iowa. More than 950,000 hours have already been logged in the construction of the facility, and we have an average of 450 people — 80 percent of them from Central Iowa — here every day, constructing a second data center building on the site. As you may have heard, we like to move fast at Facebook — and we are grateful to everyone who’s helped us get to this point. We’re proud to call you our neighbors and our friends, and to be a part of the community here in Altoona.

Here’s more information about the technology used in Altoona:

Facebook’s network infrastructure needs to constantly scale and evolve, rapidly adapting to our application needs. The amount of traffic from Facebook to Internet – we call it “machine to user” traffic – is large and ever increasing, as more people connect and as we create new products and services. However, this type of traffic is only the tip of the iceberg. What happens inside the Facebook data centers – “machine to machine” traffic – is several orders of magnitude larger than what goes out to the Internet.

Our back-end service tiers and applications are distributed and logically interconnected. They rely on extensive real-time “cooperation” with each other to deliver a fast and seamless experience on the front end, customized for each person using our apps and our site. We are constantly optimizing internal application efficiency, but nonetheless the rate of our machine-to-machine traffic growth remains exponential, and the volume has been doubling at an interval of less than a year.

Image courtesy of the Altoona Data Center’s Facebook page.