A company that hasn’t stopped growing since its inception, Facebook is reliant on the same backbone that every Internet-based enterprise is—its data centers. Data centers are the foundation of any communications and information storage operation; they are the physical location that houses all of the servers and technology necessary to run complex Web endeavors and to monitor the activity on these servers.
Facebook has a few data centers worldwide: two located in Pineville, Oregon, one in Lulea, Sweden and one in Forest City, North Carolina. The company also leases space for data centers elsewhere.
Data centers tend to require a good amount of physical space due to their contents, and Facebook’s centers are no exception. Not only are its two Oregon-based data centers 330,000 square feet each, but each requires a massive power-support infrastructure in order to operate. Recently, a focus has been put on giving these centers a cleaner and more efficient power profile, thereby better utilizing their resources.
Despite the fortress-like architecture of each building, from the outside, the buildings themselves have an open look to them. Facebook’s data center techniques deserve a look, as they are an extremely active company on the cutting edge of data center technology and energy consumption practices.
Robust physical security measures: Including the four-foot thick front office wall that is encased in wire mesh, more than 1,500 tons of steel and 14,000 cubic yards of concrete make up each building.
Accurate measurement of greenhouse gases: By using new measurement methods, Facebook was able to get a more accurate read on emissions, showing an increase from 58,000 to 104,000 metric tons. With more accurate measurement techniques, measuring improvement is more efficient.
Pristine power consumption utilization: Using information gathered from its sites, the company is able to reduce its reliance on nonrenewable sources and set goals. Facebook anticipates using 25 percent renewable energy by 2015, up from 19 percent in 2012.
Remember, amid the many call center solutions, software and options out on the market, it’s important to also learn about some data center best practices.
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