On the edge of the Arctic Circle, where the River Lule meets the Gulf of Bothnia, lies Facebook’s newest data center in Luleå, Sweden. Launched earlier this week, the center is now handling live traffic from around the world.
Facebook claims Luleå is likely to be one of the most efficient and sustainable data centers in the world. All the equipment inside is powered by locally generated hydro-electric energy. It is 100% renewable and they have been able to reduce the number of backup generators required at the site by more than 70%.
In addition to harnessing the power of water, they are using the frosty Nordic air to cool the thousands of servers that store photos, videos, comments, and Likes. Any excess heat produced is used to keep the offices warm.
Nearly all the technology in the facility, from the servers to the power distribution systems, is based on Open Compute Project designs. The Facebook-founded initiative encourages the development of “vanity-free” hardware designs that are highly efficient and leave out unnecessary bits of metal and plastic. These designs are then shared with the broader community, so anyone can use or improve them.
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