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Friday, 28 October 2011 10:00

Facebook to build huge data-centre in Sweden

Written by Nick Farell

facebook

Climate will help with cooling

Facebook is building a huge data centre in the northern Swedish city of Lulea, where it can be guaranteed to save money because it is really, really cold.

Practically the data centre will mean that European users would get better performance from having a node for data traffic closer to them. Facebook currently stores data at sites in California, Virginia and Oregon and is building another facility in North Carolina.

The high-power computer equipment generates huge amount of heat and Nordic countries now flog plants on the basis that their frosty locations will help cool computer equipment. Lulea has access to hydropower stations on a river that generates twice as much electricity as the Hoover Dam. In case of a blackout, construction designs call for each building to have 14 backup diesel generators with a total output of 40 MW.

The Lulea data center, which will consist of three 300,000-square foot (28,000-square meter) server buildings, is scheduled for completion by 2014. The site will need 120 MW of energy, fully derived from hydropower.


Nick Farell

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Comments  

 
+1 #1 milkod2001 2011-10-28 10:36
yeah, huge data centre to store more a more personal informations and sell it to marketers and other scummers without permission
The idea of FB was great but it quickly turned into cheap business
 
 
0 #2 Alterecho 2011-10-28 12:06
Below what temperatures do electronic hardware stop working?
Also, whats the minimum temperature in Lulea?
 
 
+1 #3 Skynet 2011-10-28 12:22
@Alterecho

LOL, they are not just dumping the computers in a field and walking away! It will be housed in a well insulated building so that the massive waste heat will warm the building and the ventilation from the cold air outside will regulate the temperature.

I think it being powered solely by hydro-electric power is a great selling point for FB.
 
 
0 #4 Kryojenix 2011-10-28 13:03
Quoting milkod2001:
The idea of FB was great but it quickly turned into cheap business


Diaspora
 
 
+2 #5 Kryojenix 2011-10-28 13:04
It would be great if they could connect the heat exhaust pipes from their data-centre to some kind of town-wide underground central heating ducts!
 
 
+1 #6 Exodite 2011-10-28 13:05
Quoting Alterecho:
Below what temperatures do electronic hardware stop working?
Also, whats the minimum temperature in Lulea?




Luleå resident here.

Most hardware will not enjoy temperatures below freezing, as condensing moisture kills it. If you can keep things dry then most consumer level electronics are rated from 40C to -5C or thereabouts.

Military grade equipment does better and obviously specific chips can handle extreme temperatures. Cue liquid nitrogen enthusiast overclocking etc.

Coldest I've experienced in Luleå myself is about -43C. Usually there's about a week each winter that reaches -35C but most of the time it's warmer than that.

Right now we're pending between 0 and 8 degrees.
 
 
0 #7 Exodite 2011-10-28 13:10
Quoting Kryojenix:
It would be great if they could connect the heat exhaust pipes from their data-centre to some kind of town-wide underground central heating ducts!



You mean like the existing water-carried local heating?

It likely will be.

The sales pitch for FaceBook to come here were about several things.

The naturally cold climate.
Cheap, abundant space.
Cheap, abundant electricity.
Excellent network connectivity (I get 100Mbit Ethernet at home for ~8€ a month).
Closeness to a technical University (LTU lies ~0.5km from the site).

I'm not personally using Facebook and they won't need people in my line of work but it's a good thing for the town as it puts it on the IT map.
 
 
+1 #8 Kryojenix 2011-10-28 13:49
Quoting Exodite:
You mean like the existing water-carried local heating?

It likely will be.

Awesome! 8)
 
 
0 #9 Alterecho 2011-10-28 14:28
Quoting Exodite:
Coldest I've experienced in Luleå myself is about -43C



Cool.

Kidding aside, :eek:
 
 
+1 #10 Exodite 2011-10-28 15:43
Quoting Alterecho:
Cool.



To be fair we've got a significantly warmer climate than Siberia or northern Canada at the same latitude, thanks to a coastal climate and the Gulf stream.

That particular day I experienced -43C I learned that while they make motor oil capable of handling those temperatures the same doesn't hold true for bicycle lubricants. :)
 

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