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Facebook's Newest Datacenter Relies On Arctic Cooling 106

Nerval's Lobster writes "One year and seven months after beginning construction, Facebook has brought its first datacenter on foreign soil online. That soil is in Lulea, town of 75,000 people on northern Sweden's east coast, just miles south of the boundary separating the Arctic Circle from the somewhat-less-frigid land below it. Lulea (also nicknamed The Node Pole for the number of datacenters in the area) is in the coldest area of Sweden and shares the same latitude as Fairbanks, Alaska, according to a local booster site. The constant, biting wind may have stunted the growth of Lulea's tourism industry, but it has proven a big factor in luring big IT facilities into the area. Datacenters in Lulea are just as difficult to power and cool as any other concentrated mass of IT equipment, but their owners can slash the cost of cooling all those servers and storage units simply by opening a window: the temperature in Lulea hasn't stayed at or above 86 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours since 1961, and the average temperature is a bracing 29.6 Fahrenheit. Air cooling might prove a partial substitute for powered environmental control, but Facebook's datacenter still needed 120megawatts of steady power to keep the social servers humming. Sweden has among the lowest electricity costs in Europe, and the Lulea area reportedly has among the lowest power costs in Sweden. Low electricity prices are at least partly due to the area's proximity to the powerful Lulea River and the line of hydroelectric dams that draw power from it."
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Facebook's Newest Datacenter Relies On Arctic Cooling

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  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:29PM (#44003475)

    I know a lot of ./ is gonna come at this from a "those greedy scum bags" point of view, but this makes perfect sense from an overall humanity point of view, not just a greedy corporation point of view. Put power hungry stuff in a place where the power doesn't spew CO2 into the atmosphere thanks to hydroelectric. Someplace where they can use much less power by taking advantage of the outside cold. This is how it should be.

  • Re:Not for long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh (1273756) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:41PM (#44003553)

    You might want to look into HipHop [] a bit. It's rather quite nice.

    Also the fact that a behemoth like FB can run as it is written in PHP is more of a commentary on the value of your post.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 14, 2013 @06:19AM (#44005535)

    Also, a data center in Wisconsin is going to get worse latency than a data center in Sweden for European Facebook users.

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