We all use Facebook – well, over a billion of us do – but few people stop to ponder what goes on behind the scenes.
Well, for those curious few, Mark Zuckerberg has offered a glimpse of what happens in a Facebook data centre.
The world’s largest social media service no doubt have a good number of these data centres scattered across the world, but for the first post on the topic Zuckerberg released rare images of the one in Sweden, in a small town called Luleå. It opened three years ago, and was the first Facebook data centre outside of the US.
“Over the next few months, I’m going to start posting some rare photos of the most advanced technology Facebook is building around the world. We’re starting deep in the forests of northern Sweden with the Luleå data center. It’s a key part of our global infrastructure, and it uses a variety of local natural resources to increase efficiency and save power,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
He added that since the average temperature outside in remote Sweden is often below 50 degrees, the company uses large fans to pull in the outside air to naturally cool the thousands of warm servers that line the centre’s hallways.
The data centre is powered by hydro-electric plants which operate on nearby rivers.
“The whole system is 10% more efficient and uses almost 40% less power than traditional data centers,” he said.
Zuckerberg said that the main building is the size of six football fields, and nearly all the technology in the facility, from the servers to the power distribution systems, is based on Open Compute Project designs.
“You probably don’t think about Luleå when you share with friends on Facebook, but it’s an example of the incredibly complex technology infrastructure that keeps the world connected. I’m looking forward to sharing photos of more of our advanced technology soon,” Zuckerberg concluded.