Facebook (News - Alert) is using a lot of data center power – so much that the social networking giant has to move its computing infrastructure closer to the Arctic Circle just to keep it cool. The company is currently setting up a large data center in Lulea Northern Sweden, scheduled to open in 2012.
According to a recent DatacenterDynamics piece, Lulea – located on the northern coast of Sweden in Norrbotten County – already has a strong IT presence. A number of cabling and mobile phone companies have already established a presence there and more than 2,000 employees in the tech industry situated there.
In its quest to minimize the consumption of data center power, Facebook is setting up three server halls across 30,000 square meters. This data center will use free cooling, taking advantage of the cold climate at the Aurorum Science Park in northern Sweden. The company is expected to make the official announcement about its new data center power initiative in a press conference in Kulturens hus, Lulea.
According to a report in the UK newspaper, the Telegraph, Mats Engman, Aurorum Science Park Chief Executive, shared the park’s running body hoped to turn it into a “Node Pole” for those seeking cooler data center power locations. By attracting Facebook, Engman hopes the park, which enjoys sense fiber-optic connectivity, can also lure other tech giants.
The Aurorum Science Park shared hopes that companies like Apple (News - Alert) and Facebook would settle in the new technology park as the region is known for its cold climate. Unfortunately for those Facebook employees charged with maintaining the data center power at this location, the average temperature year round is 2C. Engman noted the temperature has not been around 30C for more than 24 hours since 1961.
Overall, the data center is expected to use 120MW of power, much of which will be generated from a nearby river. Engman said this river can generate as much electricity as the Hoover Dam, creating significant opportunities for other corporations seeking to reduce their costs associated with data center power consumption.
The entire facility is expected to be complete and running by 2014.
Facebook is not the only company seeking ways to reduce data center power consumption. Forward-thinking companies with their sights set on social progress and growth are considering alternative locations to support their data center power efforts.
TMCnet recently reported that data center power distribution company Server Technology (News - Alert) was busy visiting the United States' capitol and spreading the word on how to increase data center power efficiency. Through education, the company hopes to promote a more efficient data center environment to cut costs and improve social responsibility. Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin