Facebook Goes Green (Kind of) with Energy Efficient Data Center

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Facebook data center

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, needs a lot of servers running in a data center to keep everyone’s information accessible at all times. Now, this information storage will be a bit greener, with the announcement they have created a new energy efficient server for their data centres, and made its technology “open” for anyone to use.

 

Energy efficient server technology created by Facebook

In Facebook’s announcement, they admitted to ‘borrowing’ ideas from its predecessors to build the new energy efficient server technology which it will be putting into place at its data centres this year. According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the data centre residing in Oregon will have a power usage ratio of 1.07 (in comparison, Google has reached 1.1, and defined “state of the art” as 1.2). Facebook is clearly ahead of the game when it comes to energy efficient technologies, claiming the new servers will be 38% more energy efficient than previous server models.

 

Facebook going energy efficient – but will they ‘Unfriend Coal’?

Although Facebook’s technology has been in the works for some time, its announcement comes at a time when Greenpeace is campaigning for Facebook to “go green” and stop using coal power by Earth Day 2011 (view the Facebook page here). There has been enough publicity about the campaign that there is no doubt Facebook’s founder has caught wind of the campaign, but as yet has made no mention of it.
Regardless of whether Facebook will ‘Unfriend Coal’ by April 22, the new energy efficient server technology they have created will have a signficant impact on their business, and through sharing the technology, hopefully other businesses as well.

 

The importance of ‘Open Source’ green technology

Although “open source” most often refers to software code that is accessible the public, Facebook is using it to share their energy efficient technological breakthrough to get more people saving power in their data centers. It is a significant step by the company, which may set a new precedent with other tech giants such as Google, while they aim to have the most energy efficient data centres possible.