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Use Facebook Technology For Your Own Business

Today Facebook announced the Open Compute project which has allowed them to build more efficient data centers by tackling the hardware scalability concerns.

A team of Facebook engineers spent the past two year focusing on scaling computing infrastructure to find efficient and economical ways to grow. Working out a lab the team designed a data center from the ground up; a few months later they started building it in Prineville, Oregon. The project started out with three people and grew to building their own custom servers, power supplies, racks, and battery backup systems. Essentially they designed and built everything from the ground up to be efficient and very cost effective.

The team started with a clean slate and had total control over every part of the system which meant they could:

  • Use a 480-volt electrical distribution system to reduce energy loss.
  • Remove anything in our servers that didn’t contribute to efficiency.
  • Reuse hot aisle air in winter to both heat the offices and the outside air flowing into the data center.
  • Eliminate the need for a central uninterruptible power supply.

The result: data center that uses 38 percent less energy to do the same work as existing facilities, while costing 24 percent less. A big improvement!

Inspired by the model of open source software, Facebook now wants to share the innovations with the industry to use and improve upon so they announced the formation of the Open Compute Project. The project is an industry-wide initiative to share specifications and best practices for energy efficient and economical data centers.

They are sharing the specifications and designs for the hardware, as well as, electrical and mechanical construction specifications used in their data center. They are fully embracing the sense of open and allowing others to benefit from it. Everyone has full access to these specifications, which are available at http://opencompute.org/.

The architecture has captured the interest of others who runs a large data centers, potentially because they can benefit from the efficiencies of the Open Compute architecture.