Facebook Plans to Place Server Farm Near Arctic Circle
October 27, 2011 12:08 PM
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Facebook's farm will take advantage of the climate to cool its servers
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
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.
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RE: Wait just a minute, please
10/27/2011 2:16:54 PM
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.
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