Facebook to build massive server farm near Arctic Circle

By on October 27, 2011, 1:00 PM

Facebook will be building a massive server farm just 62 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Luleå, northern Sweden. The facility will include three 300,000 square feet server halls, according to the Washington Post.

This will be the first time that Facebook has built a data center outside of the US, which has become a trend for large American companies as of late. In 2007, Microsoft looked to build a server farm in Siberia but the deal was never finalized. Google is currently building a similar data center in Hamima in southern Finland.

Key to Facebook choosing Luleå is the cold climate. A large server farm requires massive amounts of cold air to keep operating temperatures down. The average temperature in the area is around 2C (35.6F) and the temperature has not been above 30C (86F) for more than 24 hours since 1961. The plan is to pump in cool air from outside to aid in temperature management.

Despite the ability to use natural cool air, the server farm will still require a lot of power; 120 MW to be exact. This will primarily be supplied by the Lule River which produces twice as much hydroelectric power as the Hoover Dam. The reliability of the local power grid didn’t hurt matters, either.

Facebook Director of Site Operations Tom Furlong is overseeing the project and was responsible for selecting the site among more than 40 other locations. Facebook users in Europe and surrounding areas should expect a performance boost once the new data center goes online in 2014.





User Comments: 29

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Guest said:

YAY! Huge server farm. Lets not forget the huge ecosystem impact, pollution and environment disruption they will cause and ruin when they build their massive piece of garbage on the river.

And,.....for what......a "faster" experience for facebook users?

This **** MAKES ME SICK!

howzz1854 said:

somehow the title of this gave me the creeps.

mctommy said:

Guest said:

YAY! Huge server farm. Lets not forget the huge ecosystem impact, pollution and environment disruption they will cause and ruin when they build their massive piece of garbage on the river.

And,.....for what......a "faster" experience for facebook users?

This **** MAKES ME SICK!

I truly hate ECO-morons.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

You are right mctommy specially when they don't even read the article.

Guest said:

Yeah Outsource!!!!! We don't need jobs here anyways...we will just sit around surfing facebook all day.

mctommy said:

Guest said:

Yeah Outsource!!!!! We don't need jobs here anyways...we will just sit around surfing facebook all day.

Please find a place in the US or the UK where it's that cold (almost year-round) and where you can find plentiful hydro-electric power nearby and readily available.

demonlord721 said:

Lol its just so facebook can stay out of US jurisdiction when stealing all of your cookies

captainawesome captainawesome said:

so anyone know how I can land a job to help build that?

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

mctommy said:

Guest said:

Yeah Outsource!!!!! We don't need jobs here anyways...we will just sit around surfing facebook all day.

Please find a place in the US or the UK where it's that cold (almost year-round) and where you can find plentiful hydro-electric power nearby and readily available.

How about Alaska?

Guest said:

Well, having cold air to cool the massive server farm and hydropower to run the server farm serve a good purpose for the environmen because the electricity origines from hydropower, and the cooliing is provided mostly by the cold air in northern Sweden.

The total CO2 emission would be higher if the server farm was placed in the US since the electricity would come from fossil fuels and the extra needed cooling would consume additional power, resulting in a higher power consumption.

RH00D RH00D said:

mctommy said:

Guest said:

Yeah Outsource!!!!! We don't need jobs here anyways...we will just sit around surfing facebook all day.

Please find a place in the US or the UK where it's that cold (almost year-round) and where you can find plentiful hydro-electric power nearby and readily available.

I live in Canada and they could've come here. Edmonton is below freezing for 5 out of 12 months of the year and the other 7 months are between 5C and 18C. Those are average temps. And Edmonton is a major city. I'm sure you could smaller colder places if you went further north.

Better yet, they could have went to Alaska, that is even still the U.S.

mctommy said:

Tekkaraiden said:

mctommy said:

Guest said:

Yeah Outsource!!!!! We don't need jobs here anyways...we will just sit around surfing facebook all day.

Please find a place in the US or the UK where it's that cold (almost year-round) and where you can find plentiful hydro-electric power nearby and readily available.

How about Alaska?

Possibly, but I can't think of many sites with hydroelectric plants/dams in Alaska. Plus the wild weather in certain areas may not be optimal either.

Guest said:

Quote:

Tekkaraiden said:

Quote:

mctommy said:

Quote:

Guest said:

Yeah Outsource!!!!! We don't need jobs here anyways...we will just sit around surfing facebook all day.

Please find a place in the US or the UK where it's that cold (almost year-round) and where you can find plentiful hydro-electric power nearby and readily available.

How about Alaska?

Possibly, but I can't think of many sites with hydroelectric plants/dams in Alaska. Plus the wild weather in certain areas may not be optimal either.

Well according to the article, which of course you read, all-knowing mctommy, they chose this one from a list of 40...so there are at least 39 other sites that would have at least been acceptable if not optimal. Have you even been to Alaska mctommy, I wonder?

Guest said:

uh I see nowhere in the article where it said they chose from a list of 40, and I'm sure they chose this location because it's most beneficial to them (and possibly even the environment) as with any other company would, does Alaska even have any hydro electric plants that could sustain it?

treetops treetops said:

Smart move facebook, maybe they are also exempt from US government demands on user info over there too.

Guest said:

I think the real morons are the people willing to sign up for facebook. If I may quote Mom from Futurama, "Stupid bastards."

mctommy said:

Guest said:

Quote:

Tekkaraiden said:

Quote:

mctommy said:

Quote:

Guest said:

Yeah Outsource!!!!! We don't need jobs here anyways...we will just sit around surfing facebook all day.

Please find a place in the US or the UK where it's that cold (almost year-round) and where you can find plentiful hydro-electric power nearby and readily available.

How about Alaska?

Possibly, but I can't think of many sites with hydroelectric plants/dams in Alaska. Plus the wild weather in certain areas may not be optimal either.

Well according to the article, which of course you read, all-knowing mctommy, they chose this one from a list of 40...so there are at least 39 other sites that would have at least been acceptable if not optimal. Have you even been to Alaska mctommy, I wonder?

Where does it say there was a list of 40 sites? Even the Washington Post article doesn't say anything about 40 sites. So yes I did read, I guess you were inventing stuff?

Yes I've been to Alaska, on a nice cruise from Seattle. And depending on where you are in Alaska, temperatures in the summer can vary quite a bit. And I did admit that I have no idea if Alaska has hydroelectric facilities to supply cheap clean energy.

davisjaron said:

I think it's a fantastic idea... we are wasting so much power simply trying to keep current server facilities cool enough that it only makes sense to go somewhere cold. The only thing they will have to do is dehumidify the air that is coming in (to prevent rust and other water related damage). I don't know exact numbers but having worked with networks and all the equipment involved I think it takes almost as much power to keep the conditions right than it does to actually run the equipment.

yorro said:

Servers built at the Arctic Circle, that's some hardcore natural cooling.

Guest said:

2014? Can't wait!

bugejakurt said:

SOOO... True my friend!!! All they see is $.

bugejakurt said:

Guest said:

YAY! Huge server farm. Lets not forget the huge ecosystem impact, pollution and environment disruption they will cause and ruin when they build their massive piece of garbage on the river.

And,.....for what......a "faster" experience for facebook users?

This **** MAKES ME SICK!

I was agreeing with this post

Sunny87 said:

This sounds like a great idea but there is going to be an increase in people traffic with which will come an increase in cars and inevitably c02 emissions and the need for more concrete and lets not forget the site will need to be builders site for a while and thus pumping out diesel fumes everywhere. It really doesn't seem worth if for a free service that may one day end just for Facebook this is a waste of time and WILL wether or not people chose to believe it increase c02 emissions in the area thus nature taking another blow but this time for a pointless service.

jonny702 said:

Guest said:

YAY! Huge server farm. Lets not forget the huge ecosystem impact, pollution and environment disruption they will cause and ruin when they build their massive piece of garbage on the river.

And,.....for what......a "faster" experience for facebook users?

This **** MAKES ME SICK!

They are using cold air from outside and most of the power is coming from an eco-friendly hydro turbine facility.... I think on the contrary they are actually being pretty good to the "delicate ecosystem". So... what pollution are you refering to?

Where does it say there was a list of 40 sites? Even the Washington Post article doesn't say anything about 40 sites. So yes I did read, I guess you were inventing stuff?

Yes I've been to Alaska, on a nice cruise from Seattle. And depending on where you are in Alaska, temperatures in the summer can vary quite a bit. And I did admit that I have no idea if Alaska has hydroelectric facilities to supply cheap clean energy.

Please read the last paragraph or the article

Sunny87 said:

This sounds like a great idea but there is going to be an increase in people traffic with which will come an increase in cars and inevitably c02 emissions and the need for more concrete and lets not forget the site will need to be builders site for a while and thus pumping out diesel fumes everywhere. It really doesn't seem worth if for a free service that may one day end just for Facebook this is a waste of time and WILL wether or not people chose to believe it increase c02 emissions in the area thus nature taking another blow but this time for a pointless service.

Environmentalism in itself does not bother me, but the lack of intelligence with which it is often presented does. Earth is full of carbon based life forms, Carbon Dioxide or CO2, is required on our earth, it is used by trees and plants during photosynthesis. Perhaps we should go out and start offing people who exhale CO2 to save the environement? I can understand the toxic emmisions from vehicles causing you concern but please, check your science before complaining about about a gas that is imperative to the survival of the earth.

That said, once the server farm is built, these things don't require a huge staff to maintain.

MilwaukeeMike said:

LOL. I love how the fact that 'Sweden is cold' can start off environmental debate on the first comment and carry it through 24 later. Isn't it also always cold at high elevation?

I like how it's called a 'farm' too, even though they're not producing anything. Not just servers, or server array, or 'bunch' or 'group'. 'Farm' is definitely more trendy. Has a nice ironic quality to it using the same word for high tech servers as is used for the place most of the world's poor work to grow food. Reminds me of trendy fashion nowadays, and how people spend money to look poor by buying dull colored and bad fitting clothing.

Sunny87 said:

jonny702 said:

Guest said:

YAY! Huge server farm. Lets not forget the huge ecosystem impact, pollution and environment disruption they will cause and ruin when they build their massive piece of garbage on the river.

And,.....for what......a "faster" experience for facebook users?

This **** MAKES ME SICK!

They are using cold air from outside and most of the power is coming from an eco-friendly hydro turbine facility.... I think on the contrary they are actually being pretty good to the "delicate ecosystem". So... what pollution are you refering to?

Where does it say there was a list of 40 sites? Even the Washington Post article doesn't say anything about 40 sites. So yes I did read, I guess you were inventing stuff?

Yes I've been to Alaska, on a nice cruise from Seattle. And depending on where you are in Alaska, temperatures in the summer can vary quite a bit. And I did admit that I have no idea if Alaska has hydroelectric facilities to supply cheap clean energy.

Please read the last paragraph or the article

Sunny87 said:

This sounds like a great idea but there is going to be an increase in people traffic with which will come an increase in cars and inevitably c02 emissions and the need for more concrete and lets not forget the site will need to be builders site for a while and thus pumping out diesel fumes everywhere. It really doesn't seem worth if for a free service that may one day end just for Facebook this is a waste of time and WILL wether or not people chose to believe it increase c02 emissions in the area thus nature taking another blow but this time for a pointless service.

Environmentalism in itself does not bother me, but the lack of intelligence with which it is often presented does. Earth is full of carbon based life forms, Carbon Dioxide or CO2, is required on our earth, it is used by trees and plants during photosynthesis. Perhaps we should go out and start offing people who exhale CO2 to save the environement? I can understand the toxic emmisions from vehicles causing you concern but please, check your science before complaining about about a gas that is imperative to the survival of the earth.

That said, once the server farm is built, these things don't require a huge staff to maintain.

Okay so at what point does that attitude towards it end? Are you aware that people had the same attitude towards logging once and unfortunately Americans and the UK still do, and look what damage has been done there.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I'd move them all to the northern pole, and leave them be there, tweet with seals, bears, to cool down and give the world a break from the viral plague they invented...

VitalyT VitalyT said:

With the load of bullshit as big to process, I fear it will melt the northern glacier.

Guest said:

"Lol its just so facebook can stay out of US jurisdiction when stealing all of your cookies"

sad thing is..we all know its true.

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