Infomart Portland
Infomart’s Portland data center in Hillsboro, Oregon, housing one of the latest LinkedIn server farms (Photo: Infomart Data Centers)

LinkedIn Switches to Custom Data Center Design

Social network’s future Oregon data center to feature next-gen power distribution, cooling system

Once the latest LinkedIn data center comes online in Hillsboro, Oregon, late next year, the company will have completed its multi-year transition from renting retail colocation capacity to an all-wholesale model.

Wholesale data centers give customers more infrastructure design flexibility, which is something LinkedIn’s infrastructure team has needed to increase efficiency and power density. Its next-generation data center design includes 400-volt power distribution, cabinet-level heat rejection, and twice the energy density it had elsewhere, Michael Yamaguchi, the company’s senior manager of data center services, wrote in a post on the LinkedIn Engineering blog.

The Oregon data center will be the first site to feature this new design. Once it comes online, the company plans to decommission its final two multi-megawatt retail colocation deployments.

The two other core LinkedIn data center sites in the US are in wholesale facilities in Virginia and Texas. “It was logical to plan our third location on the West Coast,” Yamaguchi wrote.

As we reported earlier, LinkedIn leases both Virginia and Texas sites from Digital Realty Trust. Its retail colocation provider has been Equinix.

At least two new LinkedIn data centers are expected to come online next year, one in Hillsboro and the other in Singapore.

While its user base is much smaller than Facebook’s – LinkedIn says it currently has 400 million registered members, while Facebook’s most recent estimate is about 1 billion daily users – the career and professional networking oriented social network also has to constantly add data center capacity to make sure the site stays up for its members around the world.

LinkedIn data center infrastructure currently occupies about 30 MW worth of capacity total, 3 MW of which is deployed in facilities outside the US. Its storage and compute needs grew more than 30 percent over the last 12 months, Yamaguchi wrote.

The new capacity in Hillsboro, about 20 miles west of Portland, will be in a space leased from Infomart Data Centers, the wholesale data center provider formed last year as a result of a merger between Dallas Infomart and Fortune Data Centers. Yamaguchi didn’t specify how much capacity LinkedIn had contracted with Infomart for, but a local news report said it was 8 MW.

A LinkedIn spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

The LinkedIn data center in Singapore, which Yamaguchi expects to launch in early 2016, will support about 6,500 servers. Technicians are currently busy deploying applications on the Singapore servers.

Corrected: LinkedIn has 400 million registered users, not 400,000 as the story previously stated. DCK regrets the error.

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