An artists drawing made available Thursday Oct. 27, 2011 in Lulea, Sweden, showing Facebook’s new server farm on the edge of the Arctic Circle, it’s first outside the U.S. Facebook confirmed Thursday it had picked the northern Swedish city of Lulea for the data center partly because of the cold climate — crucial for keeping the servers cool — and access to renewable energy from nearby hydropower facilities. AP Photo/Scanpix, Sweco, The Node Pole
(AP)—Facebook will build a new server farm on the edge of the Arctic
Circle—its first outside the U.S.—that will improve performance for
European users of the social networking site, officials said Thursday.
reviewing potential locations across Europe, Facebook confirmed it had
picked the northern Swedish city of Lulea for the data center partly
because of the cold climate—crucial for keeping the servers cool—and
access to renewable energy from nearby hydropower facilities.
The move reflects the growing international presence of the California-based site, which counts 800 million users worldwide.
has more users outside the U.S. than inside,” Facebook director of site
operations Tom Furlong told The Associated Press. “It was time for us
to expand in Europe.”
said European users would get better performance from having a node for
data traffic closer to them. Facebook currently stores data at sites in
California, Virginia and Oregon and is building another facility in
Lulea data center, which will consist of three 300,000-ft2 (28,000-m2)
server buildings, is scheduled for completion by 2014. The site will
need 120 MW of energy, fully derived from hydropower.
60 miles (100 km), south of the Arctic Cicle, Lulea lies near
hydropower stations on a river that generates twice as much electricity
as the Hoover Dam on the border of Nevada and Arizona, Facebook said.
case of a blackout, construction designs call for each building to have
14 backup diesel generators with a total output of 40 MW.
didn’t give the price of its investment, but Lulea officials have
previously projected construction costs of up to 5 billion kronor ($760
million). The Swedish government said it was ready to pitch in with 103
million kronor ($16 million).
knocked on doors at Facebook’s head office (in Palo Alto, California)
and today they’re moving in to Lulea—this is huge, really huge,” said
Matz Engman, who heads the Lulea Business Agency, a public-private
partnership working to attract businesses to the region.
winter temperatures well below freezing and summertime highs that
rarely climb above 80 F (25 C), Lulea has used its frigid climate as a
selling point in its efforts to establish itself as a hub for server
farms. Other Nordic cities have adopted similar strategies.
2009 Google purchased a paper mill in Hamina, southern Finland, and
turned it into a data center, using seawater from the Baltic Sea for its
inside data centers are the backbone of Internet services such as
Facebook. The servers store and transmit billions of status updates,
links, photos and all the outside apps used by Facebook’s members.
Associated Press writer Malin Rising contributed to this report.
SOURCE: The Associated Press