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Photo Tour of Facebook's Open Source Datacenter 70

An anonymous reader writes "Robert Scoble has published fantastic photo tour of Facebook's new open source data center. This datacenter is the most energy efficient in the world. The Google and other datacenters are pushing back against new efficiency requirements for a while, and an open source competitor will only make things better for the rest of us."
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Photo Tour of Facebook's Open Source Datacenter

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  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @06:20PM (#35843462) Homepage

    So, where can I download the blueprint of it?

  • Re:Open Source (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @06:43PM (#35843618) Journal

    One of the reasons this will probably work well is that Facebook has the advantage of not being in the data centre business per se. They use data centres, sure, but they don't sell them, which means they have nothing to fear from competitors copying their good ideas. Major hosting companies would quite likely be more reluctant to say "here's our great new idea, any ideas on how to improve it?", because they have much more to lose if someone comes along, works out an improvement, and then implements it for themselves rather than passing it back to the community.

  • Re:PUE tricks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @07:20PM (#35843784) Journal
    Depending on how local power is generated, the power consumption column may or may not be hiding a substantial amount of water use as well(the giant cooling towers, billowing clouds of steam that weren't successfully recovered, are not there for show, nor is the siting of many sorts of power plants next to bodies of water just because operators like paying more for picturesque real estate with flood risks.) Some flavors of mining are pretty nasty about using and/or filling with delightsome heavy metals and such, water resources as well.

    I don't mean to detract from your, eminently valid, point that there are a lot of accounting shell games, in addition to actual engineering, going on when being "efficient"; but it is really necessary to decompose all the columns in order to figure out what is hiding under each of the shells(and how nasty each something is).

    Swamp coolers are a great way(in non-humid areas) to reduce A/C costs and increase clean freshwater use. Whether or not that is a better choice than using more energy strongly depends on how your friendly local energy producer is producing. Odds are that they are consuming cooling water(or hydropower's consumption of water with potential energy); but it isn't always clear how much.

    Regardless, though, what you Really, Really, Really want to avoid is situations where archaic, weak, nonsensical, and/or outright corrupt regulatory environments allow people to shove major costs under somebody else's rug. Why do they grow crops in the California desert? Because the 'market price', such as it is, of water sucked from surrounding states is virtually zero. Why are there 20-odd water-bottling operations in Florida, a state barely above sea-level and with minimal water resources? Because the cost of a license to pump alarming amounts(you guys weren't using those everglades for anything, right?) of water is basically zero(unless you are a resident, of course, they face water shortages. Trying incorporating next time, sucker). Similar arguments could be made that energy users in a number of locales are paying absurdly low rates for the Appalachian coal regions being turned into a lunar theme park, among other possibilities.

    Playing around with 'efficiency' numbers is a silly game; but largely harmless PR puffery. Making resource tradeoffs that are sensible simply because they allow you to shove major costs onto other people at no cost to yourself is all kinds of serious.
  • Re:Ewww, commodity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by turbidostato ( 878842 ) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @12:03AM (#35845058)

    "they've grown in a culture of commodity PCs and think everything is equally unreliable, so why spend more money on big-iron if it's going to fail at the same rate?"

    I don't think that's exactly their point.

    The point is more "why spend more money on big-iron if it's going to eventually fail anyway?" If it's going to fail eventually, you'll have to program-around the failure mode, but once you properly program-around system failure why going with the more expensive equiment? Go with the cheaper one and allow it to fail more frequently, since it really doesn't matter now.

User hostile.