Thursday, April 7, 2011

Facebook opens up their data center designs

The Facebook engineering team have created a website called the Open Compute Project, where they are posting designs and other information about the way they are building their server and data centers. There is a wealth of information already online at the new website, and they've also posted a nice article on the Facebook site about their efforts.

So far, they seem quite pleased by the results of the data center design:

The result is that our Prineville data center uses 38 percent less energy to do the same work as Facebook’s existing facilities, while costing 24 percent less.

Since I know very little about hardware design, I'll ask the first really stupid question that came up as I was reading the materials:

What is a "vanity free" server?

Meanwhile, the various media seem to be trying to build this up into a battle between Facebook and Google, but I find that claim hard to swallow. As Facebook themselves say, their engineering team has historically been a very open team, releasing infrastructure such as Cassandra back to the world as they built it.

Thank you, Facebook, for releasing this information; the world is now a little bit smarter.

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