Science + Tech

Facebook Open Compute Project

That’s what Facebook is calling their new data center build program.


Facebook has been leasing its data centers for the last 7 years, giving it no flexibility — Facebook technical VP Jon Heiliger likened it to living in his first apartment, where the landlord said that he could paint the walls any color as long as it was Aztec White.

For the last year or so, Facebook has been working on its own data center in Prineville, Oregon. The company says it has improved server efficiency 38% and lower costs by 24%.

What’s different about what Facebook is doing, however, is releasing its design information¬†to the public.

In an explanation of why, posted on, Matt Roseff mentions that Facebook claims it wants to pass its efficiency gains on to the rest of the world and from a hard business perspective, if Facebook can convince it has a better way of designing data centers, hardware makers and other suppliers might adopt these designs.

Makes sense right ?

The hardware was designed by a small team of only three engineers, who worked on it in a small office in Facebook headquarters.

Highlights Include:

  • A new way of supplying power that leads to 99.9999% (six nines) availability
  • Cooling — one of the biggest costs in a typical data center — is done entirely with outside air, which is driven through a “misting” system to control humidity. No ducts, no air conditioning
  • The actual servers are taller so they can use bigger heat sinks to keep them cool, and can be swapped out simply by pulling them out of the rack

They also use blue LEDs, which cost $0.07 apiece versus $0.03 for green.


James Hicks

James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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