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AN AMAZING PEEK INTO ZUCKERBERG’S DATA CENTRE


Last year Mark Zuckerberg published a number of fascinating photos of Facebook’s gigantic data center in Sweden. Placed in a location called Luleå, the facility is deep inside a forests area of the northern part of Sweden. The area of the data centre is so big that engineers have to move around using scooters. “Over the next few months, I’m going to start posting some rare photos of the most advanced technology Facebook is building around the world,” Zuckerberg wrote.

The center opened in 2013, and was our first outside the US. Wherever possible, we used the beautiful wood and art of the area to showcase local craftsmanship.

The naturally cold environment in the area, being less than 70 miles away from the Arctic Circle, is part of the whole design in achieving one of the main tasks of any data centre: keeping cool. The clever architecture uses the cold outside by sucking in wind through massive hydro-electric powered fans that keep the enormous centre cool, and in the process consumes 40 percent less power than conventional data centres. Interestingly, the process is reversed during the winter when the massive heat generated by tens of thousands of servers are used to preserving the heat in the building. The efficiency is further enhanced by special designs of the data centres drives, which can be repaired under two minutes compared to one-hour time needed for a typical drive. As a result, only one technician is needed per 25 thousand servers.

In light of our theme of data centre in this issue we print the amazing photos Zuckerberg shared from his Facebook page, along with the description he wrote.

 

The building’s exterior reflects the innovative designs inside.
“Look at these racks, the network devices, the cabling. Everything is like reference model!” – Max Zavyalov, Network Engineer in Edge & Network Services team
The data center is huge, but the idea that launched it began on the back of this paper napkin. Late one night, while traveling, engineer Jay Park sketched his vision for a system that streamlined the way power moves from the local utility grid to our servers.
The equipment is reduced to its basics so it runs cooler. It can also be easily accessed and repaired quickly. A few years ago, it took an hour to repair a server hard drive. At Luleå, that’s down to two minutes.
The center opened in 2013, and was our first outside the US. Wherever possible, we used the beautiful wood and art of the area to showcase local craftsmanship.

I love this shot because it looks like a sci-fi movie. These enormous fans draw in the outside air to cool the tens of thousands of servers in the data hall. In the winter, when temperatures plunge to -30 degrees the situation is reversed, and the heat from the servers warm the massive buildings.
About 150 people work here, but the data halls are frequently empty. Because of the simplified design, we need only one technician for every 25,000 servers.
“There is no more efficient data center in the world.” – Jay Park, VP of Data Center Design and Construction
“There’s a beauty in all of this. It’s like a massive and very well-orchestrated machine, where everything works in concert and allows people across the planet to communicate and share in an incredibly efficient way.” – Joel Kjellgren, Luleå Site Manager
“It is important for people to know that nothing leaves the site and their data is safe. The old drives are destroyed.” – Christer Jonsson, Server Technician
“It’s a very important job, and I am very proud to be trusted with that responsibility.” – Linnéa Svallfors, Security Officer
Old and obsolete hard drives are crunched, forever protecting privacy. Christer Jonsson is in charge of this important task. “I must be very careful,” he says.

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