Social media giant Facebook recently launched a new project that will see the company reveal details about its data center infrastructure.
The initiative, called the Open Compute Project, was kicked off recently with the creation of a website designed to serve as a platform for sharing best practices in data center design and maintenance.
Facebook, which utilizes massive data centers to store information for its millions of users, is sharing information about its own infrastructure on the project’s website. The company claimed the initiative is based on the open source model, which enables professionals and enthusiasts to learn from and utilize publicly available technical knowledge.
The social media company’s custom-built data centers were designed for maximum data security, cost effectiveness and energy efficiency, according to Facebook. The Open Compute Project website contains details of the company’s data center setup, including information about IT hardware infrastructure, as well as the electrical and mechanical construction specifications of the data center sites.
In a statement, Facebook said its new data center in Prineville, Oregon, was designed over a period of two years by a team of engineers at the company. Because the data center was designed “from the ground up,” the engineers were able to deploy a variety of measures designed to ensure data security, energy efficiency and expense reduction. These, according to the company, include “custom-designed servers, power supplies, server racks and battery backup systems.”
Facebook claimed the innovations in its new data center have enabled it to use 38 percent less energy than other facilities that perform similar functions. Furthermore, the company said the new data center costs 24 percent less to run than an equivalent data center.
In an official statement, Facebook called for data center experts to use its new website as a means to contribute to industry-wide best practices. “We want you to tell us where we didn’t get it right and suggest how we could improve,” the company said. “And opening the technology means the community will make advances that we wouldn’t have discovered if we had kept it secret.”
Facebook relies heavily on its data centers for its business to function. Since its launch in 2004, the site’s user base has grown to more than 600 million people worldwide.