Facebook might be planning a new data center in Ireland at a cost of $220 million, reported the Irish Times. The company is also actively searching for electrical engineers with data center experience to work at its Irish operations.
The social media giant is reportedly about to file for planning permission to build a 200,000 square foot facility in Meath, about 30 minutes northwest of Dublin. Details are sparse and Facebook is not commenting, however Ireland has been a data center hotspot in recent years.
Dublin is unique amongst major European data center hubs in that its initial appeal was based on climate, rather than connectivity. However, along with data centers comes that connectivity. For example, a new submarine cable is in the works, which will boost direct connectivity to North America for Ireland greatly. Microsoft recently invested in the project.
Facebook’s other European data centers are in Lulea, Sweden, another location with favorable climate for data centers.
Ireland has seen increasing data center activity. In the last few months, Apple revealed plans for a $1 billion dollar project in Ireland located in Athenry, close to Galway. Apple is also investing in renewable energy projects there and across its footprint.
Microsoft has a data center in Dublin , as do Google and Amazon. Digital Realty Trust launched a new facility in Dublin last year and TelecityGroup is also present. Technology companies have created several jobs in Ireland, and it looks like Facebook is creating around 60 more.
Cork, located in the southwest region of the country is also particularly active. It is home to European headquarters for Apple and Logitech. Amazon has also set up shop in the Cork Airport Business Park, and EMC filed for a new data center in Cork last year.
More than 1.2 billion people use Facebook worldwide and Facebook has had to scale its data centers in tow. Because the company has faced unique infrastructure challenges, it’s also innovating at the data center.
The company has been active not only in building, but in progressing design through initiatives like Open Compute Project. Last year, Facebook said using Open Compute designs to steamline its data centers and servers helped the company save $1.2 billion. The company showed additional OCP love by sharing its networking innovations.
The company has streamlined the way it builds data centers, adopting an Ikea-esque approach. However, in March, A U.K. engineering company filed a lawsuit against Facebook, with accusations of Facebook using its proprietary data center designs and promoting their public use through its Open Compute Project