Facebook building cold storage data facility to maintain your old pics

By on February 21, 2013, 7:00 PM

Earlier this year it was revealed that Facebook users have uploaded more than 240 billion photos to the social network and add another 350 million photographs each day. As you can imagine, it takes an incredible amount of space to store all of those old memories.

So much so that Facebook is planning a more efficient storage system at their Prineville, Oregon data facility that will move old photos to a new cold storage facility in an effort to reduce storage cost and energy usage.

According to The Oregonian, Facebook says 82 percent of their traffic is focused on just eight percent of user photos. The social network wants to archive all of those old pictures by taking into account an image’s life cycle, or when it goes from heavy rotation to old news.

At that point, they will be moved to one of three 16,000-square-foot data hubs – each capable of storing an exabyte of data (1,000 petabytes). Most of the servers in the cold storage center will be asleep and it will be the job of a select few systems to wake up the sleeping computers when a user requests an old photo.

For the end user, this will result in a slight delay in the delivery of said image – a matter of seconds or milliseconds, according to Facebook communication manager Michael Kirkland. Whether or not the lag adds up when millions of users are pinging the system at once remains to be seen, however.

The social network says the cold storage center will cost about 33 percent less than a traditional data center. The first of the three hubs at the new facility should be up and running by this fall.




User Comments: 10

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1 person liked this | Guest said:

The won't be maintaining mine, I don't have a disgrace-book account.

Guest said:

I always knew Farcebook was cold.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Then they will sell 240 billion photos to a Chinese company

waterproof said:

The won't be maintaining mine, I don't have a disgrace-book account.

Yet here you are commenting on a Facebook article.

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

The won't be maintaining mine, I don't have a disgrace-book account.

Yet here you are commenting on a Facebook article.

Last time I checked, this was a Techspot article about Facebook. I don't see how he is in any way supporting Facebook by reading this article and commenting.

highlander84 said:

I think its funny how people always wanna rag on this or that. This is a good move for Facebook if people like Facebook or not. It will reduce operating cost and seriously, once you upload a photo to Facebook its all cool for what a week? then it never gets clicked on again. IMO its a great idea.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Sounds desperate, trying to plug holes in a sinking boat.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sounds desperate, trying to plug holes in a sinking boat.

Sinking or not, its a boat you will not catch me in again. Been there done that, and now I have a Facebook account I can't delete. I deactivated my account but as far as I know, its still there just waiting to be activated again.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Sounds inevitable for Facebook, and like a good plan to manage how the service is actually used in hardware. Heaps of photos are probably barely ever looked at again. I can?t recall when I last looked at some stuff that I posted in 2009. Probably some day in 2009.

Guest said:

All your Photo are belong to us

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