IT Infrastructure: Facebook's First Open Compute Project Data Center Is Now Complete

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-08-17 Print this article Print
A Modest Sign of the IT Times

A Modest Sign of the IT Times

A modest sign with Facebook's simple logo at the corner of a large parcel outside Prineville, in north central Oregon, is the only indication that the huge social network has a presence in the area.
PRINEVILLE, Ore. -- Facebook, which is closing in on 1 billion registered users and is pounded by billions of transactions each minute, realized early on that it was going to need to build its own data centers. Its first one, located in the north central Oregon town of Prineville, about 80 miles south of the Columbia River and the Washington border, opened in April 2011 after a two-and-a-half-year construction period. It is custom-built for Facebook's purposes and uses the company's Open Compute Project architecture. Until this spring, Facebook has co-located virtually all its servers with hosting services. As part of the Open Compute Project, Facebook is publishing the specifications and mechanical designs used to construct the motherboards, power supply, server chassis as well as the server and battery cabinets for its data center. That's unprecedented enough for a company of Facebook's scale. But the social networking giant is also open-sourcing the specifications for its data center's electrical and mechanical construction. The move is somewhat surprising because Facebook so closely defends the security of its hundreds of millions of users who are interacting inside the social network's walled garden. Facebook on Aug. 16 invited a small group of journalists to tour the new facility. Other Facebook data center projects are being built in Forest City, N.C., and in Lulea, Sweden. Here in this slide show are highlights of that tour.  (All photos by eWEEK Editor of Features and Analysis Chris Preimesberger.)
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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