Monthly Archives: April 2011
Last week, Facebook’s Open Compute Project unveiled the details of its energy efficient server design, power systems and evaporative cooling system for its new data center in Prineville, Ore. That’s a lot of valuable intellectual property, and opening it up could push other data center giants in the field — notably Google, which has kept much of its efficient data center IP under tight wraps — to open theirs up as well. But how much is all of this information worth to data center operators?
Last week Facebook announced the Open Compute Project (Perspectives, Facebook). I linked to the detailed specs in my general notes on Perspectives and said I would follow up with more detail on key components and design decisions I thought were particularly noteworthy. In this post we’ll go through the mechanical design in detail. As long time readers of this blog will know, PUE has many issues (PUE is still broken and I still use it) and is mercilessly gamed in marketing literature (PUE and tPUE).
(Reuters) – Facebook, the world’s largest social network, wants to get in on computer hardware as well. The company that revolutionized social networking on the Internet has teamed up with some of tech hardware’s biggest names — Hewlett Packard Co, Dell Inc, Advanced Micro Devices, and Intel Corp — to launch the “open compute project.” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the project aims to offer specifications and designs for more power-efficient computers that are specifically geared toward running Internet services, shared openly with other companies.
In a marked departure from industry practice, Facebook is disclosing the designs and specs for its new data center in Prineville, Oregon. The social network today launched the Open Compute Project, through which it is releasing the details of its energy efficient data center design, as well as its custom designs for servers, power supplies and UPS units.
This week, Facebook did something that would be unthinkable for most tech companies: it created a product cheaper, more efficient and more environmentally sound than the industry standard, then provided explicit instructions detailing exactly how to build it. Under an initiative dubbed the Open Compute Project, Facebook released designs for the technology powering its new data center in Prineville, Ore., which Facebook says is 38 percent more efficient and 24 percent cheaper to run thanks to its custom engineering.
Some of the “triplet” racks featured by the Open Compute Project. Yesterday Facebook joind with industry partners in rolling out the Open Compute Project, a new effort to create open industry standards for data center hardware and design based on Facebook’s work at its new Oregon data center. On one level, the initiative represents a change in thinking about data center design, which has traditionally been closely held by innovators.
A small team of Facebook engineers spent the past two years tackling a big challenge: how to scale our computing infrastructure in the most efficient and economical way possible. Working out of an electronics lab in the basement of our Palo Alto, California headquarters, the team designed our first data center from the ground up; a few months later we started building it in Prineville, Oregon. The project, which started out with three people, resulted in us building our own custom-designed servers, power supplies, server racks, and battery backup systems.
The pace of innovation in data center design has been rapidly accelerating over the last 5 years driven by the mega-service operators. In fact, I believe we have seen more infrastructure innovation in the last 5 years than we did in the previous 15. Most very large service operators have teams of experts focused on server design, data center power distribution and redundancy, mechanical designs, real estate acquisition, and network hardware and protocols. But, much of this advanced work is unpublished and practiced at a scale that is hard to duplicate in a research setting.
Facebook today unveiled details of its new technology infrastructure, which features custom-built servers, racks and UPS units that will fill its new data center in Prineville, Oregon. The project is Facebook’s first company-built facility, and is optimized from the two-story structure right down to the servers to reflect the company’s vision for energy efficient data center operations.