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Luleå, Sweden   (Source:
Facebook's farm will take advantage of the climate to cool its servers

Server farms produce quite a bit of heat, and require cooling in order to prevent overheating. So what better place to put a server farm than the edge of the Arctic Circle?

Facebook has announced that it plans to build a server farm in Luleå, northern Sweden, which is at the northern tip of the Baltic Sea and 62 miles South of the Arctic Circle.

The farm, which will consist of three server halls that will cover an area as large as 11 football fields, will take advantage of the climate to cool the servers. In other words, the farm will only use air to cool the servers.

According to Mats Engman, chief executive of the Aurorum Science Park, which is working to lure other computing companies to the area for its cool temperatures, the climate in this area is 2C, or 35.6F, on average. It hasn't reached above 30C, or 86F, for more than one day since 1961.

While air can be used to cool the servers, the servers will still need 120MW of power to stay running. But this power requirement will be provided by renewable electricity generated by Luleå river dams.

"The Luleå river produces twice as much electricity as the Hoover Dam does, so 50 percent is exported from our region," said Engman. "There is a surplus of energy, and we can supply more data centers in this area easily."

Facebook is expected to provide more details concerning the Arctic venture in a press conference in Luleå today. This is Facebook's first server farm to be located outside of the United States.

Source: The Telegraph

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By Suntan on 10/27/2011 1:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
What's the cost to run a big fat pipe of internet up to the middle of snow-land?


RE: Connections
By kattanna on 10/27/2011 1:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
yeah im doubting they plan on using the 100Mb connection the park currently has for tenants LOL

RE: Connections
By vol7ron on 10/27/2011 8:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
Look, Russia still has hope.

RE: Connections
By Spookster on 10/27/2011 9:31:16 PM , Rating: 4
Hello, My name is Peggy, TRANSFER

RE: Connections
By JediJeb on 10/27/2011 1:59:03 PM , Rating: 5
Wouldn't surprise me if Sweden already has T3 service to everyone up that far, since everybody except the US already has great internet connections. ;)

RE: Connections
By mfenn on 10/27/2011 2:10:44 PM , Rating: 3
T3 is a pathetically small amount of bandwidth for a modern data center.

RE: Connections
By FITCamaro on 10/27/2011 3:02:47 PM , Rating: 1
Really? Australia? Britain? Cananda? Most of Europe.

Connections are insanely expensive and just as "slow" if not slower in many areas of the world as the US. I'm pretty happy with my ability to get 50 Mbps up/down in "backwards" South Carolina.

Here at work we have the same internet company I have at home and have their fastest service and the fastest downloads I've seen are around 10 MB/s.

RE: Connections
By UnauthorisedAccess on 10/27/2011 6:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
+1 for Australia, as we're still behind the world in our cities, though out in the country things are really bad.

In really rural locations an Internet connection is non-existant, except over satalite. Though the problem is the NBN, lack of funding or the government - it's the vast distances and extremely sparse population.

RE: Connections
By Paj on 10/28/2011 7:48:45 AM , Rating: 3
Definitely not in the UK - you can get 50Mb for £25/month these days. Most companies offer up to 10Mb for under £10/month. Prices are similar in western Europe.

Of course, the UK (and most of the countries in Europe) are pretty small, which makes infrastructure rollout much easier.
I think the US suffers from the same problem as Australia - vast distances and many remote locations, placing burdens on infrastructure.

RE: Connections
By FITCamaro on 10/28/2011 8:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. Too many Europeans don't understand we have states larger than their countries. So rolling out things takes time. Metro areas have pretty good services. But doing things nationwide is a far larger endeavor.

50Mb isn't bad for around $50USD.

RE: Connections
By theArchMichael on 10/28/2011 11:09:22 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah but it's a racket here...
The government subsidizes deployment of the internet lines to rural areas. But then when consumers ask why internet service is so expensive even in high density areas, the telecom companies say that it is because of the ... high costs of deploying internet lines to rural areas.

RE: Connections
By theArchMichael on 10/28/2011 11:11:14 AM , Rating: 4
south korea is like $10 a month 100Mbps. Yeah all things are relative but you'd expect more infrastructure and lower barrier of access to technology in the world's leading economy.

RE: Connections
By FITCamaro on 10/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Connections
By Jeremy87 on 10/27/2011 3:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
T3 isn't even very fast compared to what is available in Sweden.
Not to mention Luleå is one of Sweden's university-cities, and IIRC they've broken world speed records in sending gigantic amounts of data over long distances.

No, I don't think the internet connection will be a problem for Luleå.

RE: Connections
By juntti on 10/27/2011 3:09:01 PM , Rating: 4
I'm living in Luleå, Sweden. And yes, I've had have fibre optical internet into my home for the last ten years. Currently I have only 100/100 Mb/s capacity. Though 1000/1000 Mb/s is on it's way. There is already enough black fibre in the ground to carry data for this data center whereever.

RE: Connections
By Natch on 10/27/2011 3:13:09 PM , Rating: 4
They made a deal with Santa, and are going to piggy-back off his trunk line, so it's not that much, really.

Targeted Global Warming
By GTVic on 10/27/2011 12:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose a server farm is going to contribute to global warming regardless of where it is located. But is it really a good idea to directly heat up the arctic? :)

RE: Targeted Global Warming
By Jeremy87 on 10/27/2011 1:15:32 PM , Rating: 3
If you're going by the logic "contribute regardless where it is", using naturally cold air is more efficient than cooling down warm air.

RE: Targeted Global Warming
By TSS on 10/27/2011 9:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
We musn't forget what the energy will actually be used for. When your spending energy to waste energy isn't "efficiency" an oxymoron?

RE: Targeted Global Warming
By FITCamaro on 10/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Targeted Global Warming
By cjohnson2136 on 10/27/2011 3:49:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think it was more of a joke saying that they are putting a building that releases massive amounts of heat into an area that's near closer to the polar caps.

RE: Targeted Global Warming
By FITCamaro on 10/28/2011 1:04:38 PM , Rating: 1
The heat released by the servers is infinitesimal compared to the surrounding environment.

And he's saying the server farm will contribute to "global warming". If its run off hydroelectric power, there's no impact to the environment at all. Especially when the power plant already exists and has excess capacity.

RE: Targeted Global Warming
By GTVic on 10/30/2011 6:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose you have to be aware of ESL types when posting on the internet, even on an all English site. But still, it is surprising you missed the word "suppose", the "?" and the ":)". Get a grip.

Waste heat
By kaborka on 10/27/2011 12:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
Hope they put the waste heat to good use, too.

RE: Waste heat
By czarchazm on 10/27/2011 12:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, they could stick one of these things on top:

RE: Waste heat
By Jeremy87 on 10/27/2011 1:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Converting heat back to electricity wastes a lot of energy. Better use it to actually heat up houses, which needs to be done anyway up there.

Heat Waste
By Nakecat on 10/27/2011 1:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if those heat waste will speed up the ice melting there.

Makes sense
By UNHchabo on 10/27/2011 3:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
One of my co-workers lived in Minnesota, and said that Cray Supercomputer had a facility there -- apparently when they moved out, they had trouble selling the building because it had no furnace; Cray used their computers as the sole means of heating the building.

Central heating
By bupkus on 10/27/2011 5:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
As I recall while attending ASU way back when, they had a large centrally located utility building for air conditioning the surrounding buildings. They did this by chilling water and pumping it underground to these satellite buildings.

Certainly this could be done to best advantage for heating. The benefiting community could then provide an energy rebate in return.

By druggelino on 10/30/2011 7:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
omg i live in luleå :))

global warming
By KOOLTIME on 11/2/2011 3:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
Industrialization pushing north, bringing heat where its not been before, enough plants move and warm the zone, more arctic ice melts and raises temps across the globe as the industrialization expands north.

How much heat in an area not designated as supposed to be getting warmed up will reflect upon our global crisis.

People building in places that should be left alone, and wonder why bad things happen over time. Eco system and animals die off for such actions.

Wait just a minute, please
By kjboughton on 10/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Wait just a minute, please
By Suntan on 10/27/2011 1:49:54 PM , Rating: 4
The ONLY possible gain here is the potential to save the energy due the efficiency losses of the electrical cooling systems that would otherwise be required.

Captain Obvious has spoken.


RE: Wait just a minute, please
By WeaselITB on 10/27/2011 2:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
I really doubt that anything "green" other than money factored into this decision.

Data center cooling is a HUGE expenditure. Here's a study from 2009 showing it to be 30% of overall energy usage --

Since that time, servers have gotten more efficient, but denser (e.g., blades, virtualization, etc.), usually leading to a net heat increase (in my experience, anyway).

Saving 30%+ off your annual energy bill of a multi-million-dollar datacenter? Yes please.


RE: Wait just a minute, please
By Paj on 10/28/2011 7:51:00 AM , Rating: 1

But this power requirement will be provided by renewable electricity generated by Luleå river dams.

RE: Wait just a minute, please
By 91TTZ on 10/28/2011 9:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
Your reply didn't address what he's saying. His point is that the datacenters are going to warm up the area, regardless of where power is coming from.

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