Facebook Open Compute Project

June 2nd, 2011
Posted in Tech

We want Facebook to use 100% renewable energy” - Ironically, this is the name of a group on Facebook. It is a Greenpeace initiative which started back in February, 2011. The group has grown dramatically in just under 2 months. Currently there are over 300,000 people supporting the initiative.

Daniel Kessler of Greenpeace was quoted saying "Facebook, by opening this center, is sending a signal: We're not quite done with coal yet." Greenpeace and Change both called out Facebook to use clean renewable energy and avoid coal. Facebook’s decision to build and operate its new data center is mostly the reason behind the campaign. The data center, located in Prineville will be powered by Pacific Power. The power service agreement is already in place.

Facebook’s response stated that their Oregon facility will become greener over time. Their goal is to introduce more renewable energy sources to the facility one step at a time. The first step, they pointed out, is the energy efficient design of the data center, which will pave the way for future improvements.

On the 31st of March, Greenpeace produced a TV ad, urging Facebook to abandon coal and use alternative energy sources.

Recently, Facebook made public the design details of its data center in Oregon. They also listed detailed information about their custom servers, power systems and cooling improvements. With the Open Compute Project, Facebook are reaching out to anyone who can use their approach and further improve upon it. They claim they were able to reduce the consumption power of each server unit by 38.2%. According to opencompute.org, they were able to reach 1.073 power usage efficiency, which translates to 93% of the energy actually going where it is supposed to - powering the hardware.

One of the reasons why Facebook chose Prineville is the property tax exemptions, offered by Oregon for industrial projects in rural areas. However, one thing is certain - having Facebook in your city will certainly open up new occupation opportunities. Next year, Facebook will employ three-dozen people when the new data center is ready to go live.

Guess who will have the fastest Facebook access this time next year.

About Victoria Pal

Doesn't like queuing (particularly at Wimbledon). Likes travelling, tennis and reading. Loves working as a Project Manager at WebSitePulse.

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