Facebook Begins Constructing Data Centers

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UPDATE: Facebook confirmed via its blog that it has broken ground on a 117,000 square foot data center in Prineville.

Social network Facebook (www.facebook.com) is building its own data centers, and may reveal the details of its first data center as early as Friday, according to a report by Data Center Knowledge.

The massive social network has previously housed its servers at wholesale data center providers, but is now at the point where it would be more cost-effective to invest in a custom-built infrastructure.

“Facebook is always looking at ways to scale our infrastructure and better serve our users,” said Facebook spokesperson Kathleen Loughlin said last week. “It should come as no surprise that, at some point, building a customized data center will be the most efficient and cost effective way to to do this. However, we have nothing further to announce at this time.”

Oregon Govenor Ted Kulogonski will unveil Thursday the name of an undisclosed tenant in a high-profile data center currently being built in Prineville, Oregon.

The 117,000 square foot facility, located near the Prineville Airport, is expected to hire 35 workers.

Vitesse is building the data center on behalf of an unidentified tenant, which Vitesse has confirmed as being neither Google nor Yahoo.

Both of these companies have been building their own data centers in recent years.

Many industry insiders say the tenant is a large social networking site, which is more often than not  used to describe Facebook.

More recently, Facebook announced its plans to implement custom servers and a power path design, which will help the company decrease the energy loss during power distribution from 35 percent down to about 15 percent.

Instead of installing a traditional UPS and PDUs, the design for the facility follows a technique first used by Google which adds a 12 volt battery to each server power supply. The design improves the facility’s overall energy efficiency.

With more than 350 million users, Facebook is growing at a rapid rate. To accommodate this growth, the company has expanded by leasing space from wholesale data center providers like Digital Realty Trust, DuPont Fabros Technologies and Fortune Data Centers.

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