Business, Sci-Tech

Facebook to build Arctic server farms

By Sipho Hlongwane 28 October 2011

Facebook announced on Thursday plans to locate its next batch of server farms in a town on the edge of the Arctic Circle. The cold has its uses, it seems. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

The small Swedish hamlet of Luleå, which is near the Arctic Circle, will be home to Facebook’s newest server farms.

“After a rigorous review process of sites across Europe, we concluded that Luleå offered the best package of resources, including a suitable climate for environmental cooling (and) clean power resources,” the company said in a statement.

The location was chosen because of a constant supply of cooling agent at these farms. The town is not only far enough north to be cold most of the year, it sits on the banks of a large river and an almost unending supply of cooling water.

“The Luleå data centre will consist of three server buildings each covering an area of around 28,000m²,” Facebook said, adding that construction would begin immediately. The first building would be open for business within a year, it said, while the entire data centre was expected to be up and running by 2014.

According to a weather expert quoted in The Telegraph, the temperature in Luleaa has never risen above 30°C since 1961, with the annual average temperature being a frigid 2°C. DM

Read more:

  • Facebook to build server farm on edge of Arctic Circle, in The Telegraph; and
  • Facebook to build massive Arctic data centre in Sweden, on AFP.

Photo: Houses in the northern Swedish village of Luleå. Joakim Westerlund, Flickr.


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