Facebook: $1 Million A Month in Power Costs

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FacebookWe’ve been writing about rising data center power bills for several years now. But few companies are experiencing this issue more acutely than Facebook, which is reportedly spending “well over $1 million a month” on electricity. That figure comes via TechCrunch, which says spending on power and data center hardware has burned through most of the money Facebook has raised, prompting the company to return to the markets to seek more capital.

The problem, apparently, is the huge amount of user-generated content at Facebook (like those 10 billion photos users have uploaded). TechCrunch says this enormous volume of UGC has driven the company to buy a new NetApp 3070 storage system every week. The company says it has “more than 10,000 servers” but it’s been saying that since the spring and the number would likely be higher than that by now.  Facebook has also been expanding its data center footprint,  leasing substantial chunks of new space in Ashburn, Virginia and Santa Clara, California.

Facebook is clearly a hot property, and as such has been the focus of many rumors, a few of which have turned out to be true. But we have no problem believing that their  power bills are huge, and growing by the month.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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10 Comments

  1. Hooyah Booger Ninny

    “more than 10,000 servers” LOL... have they ever heard of VMware? They could probably cut that down to 850, or 2000 with Xen/Hyper-V.

  2. Jim in Arizona

    I sure hope they figure out a solution to this problem before it does them in. Although I rarely use facebook (I do have an account though), I would hate to see it disappear or to become myspace property in some way. Perhaps it's time to build a green datacenter somewhere in greenland?

  3. Joe

    What's going to happen to Facebook and other IT companies when electricity costs skyrocket when Obama becomes President? Obama wants to put coal out of business as a resource for our country which will then cause the increase in electricity costs. Interesting.

  4. sectoroverload2k

    typically, if you're adding $100 million worth of servers, vmware is not a solution worth looking at. if you use the processing power of that many PHYSICAL servers, it is nearly impossible to get that amount of work from virtual servers without running into resource contention with memory, cpu and also network bandwidth.