Facebook's arctic servers
Facebook is set to open its first server farm outside the United States. It's going to be a 5-acre facility in Sweden. Like way up north Sweden, just south of the Arctic Circle. Part of the reason is that it's an area with easy access to hydroelectric power. Also, the location in Europe will better serve all of Facebook's European customers. The big reason, though? It's cold there! Server farms generate a lot of heat and if they get too hot they can shut down. Ever feel a laptop on your lap or put your hand on the back of a desktop computer? Yeah, that, but times a zillion. So it's cold up there and that will help and save the company a bunch of money in air conditioning.
Time to buy some parkas for the employees, of course.
The Lulea data center, which will consist of three 300,000-square foot (28,000-square meter) server buildings, is scheduled for completion by 2014. The site will need 120 MW of energy, fully derived from hydropower.
Located 60 miles (100 kilometers), south of the Arctic Cicle, Lulea lies near hydropower stations on a river that generates twice as much electricity as the Hoover Dam on the border of Nevada and Arizona, Facebook said.