Facebook’s North Carolina Data Center Goes Live

An aerial view of the new Facebook data center in Forest City, North Carolina. (Photo: Facebook).

Facebook is now running its custom Internet infrastructure in a warmer climate. Facebook’s new data center in Forest City, North Carolina is online and has begun serving live traffic, the company said Thursday. The new server farm will provide Facebook  with additional IT capacity to support its growing audience of more than 850 million users.

The North Carolina site is Facebook’s second data center, and features many of the designs used in the huge social network’s first company-built facilities in Prineville, Oregon. Facebook also continues to operate data centers in leased space on both coasts.

Facebook broke ground in Forest City in November 2010. The project required 1.2 million hours of labor from 2,000 workers, including construction crews and Facebook staff. A second data center building at the site is expected to open later this year.

Forest City data center will be the first live test of the Open Compute Project’s outdoor-air cooling designs in an environment where temperature and humidity conditions are outside the range of typical data center operations. It will also be the first major production deployment of the v2 Open Compute Project web servers, which use Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor.

Facebook projects that the North Carolina facility will operate at a Power Utilization Effectiveness (PuE) measurement for the entire facility of 1.06 to 1.08, similar to the PUE for the Prineville data center.

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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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