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.