Facebook’s ‘Sub-Zero’ Facility: Data Storage, or Zuck’s Cryogenic Backup Plan?

Asking the tough questions.

Artist’s rendering.

Wired reports that Facebook is constructing a boxy building, code-named “Sub Zero,” right next to its existing data center in Prineville, Oregon. The purpose? Long-term emergency backup of your every drunken photo and banal status update.

According to Wired:

The plan is to use the building to house a brand-new type of low-power, deep-storage device that Facebook engineers will cook up over the next six to nine months. They’re designing a hard-disk storage server that powers off when it’s not in use, says Tom Furlong, vice president of site operations at Facebook. “It’s going to sit in a dedicated building that is optimized to support this device that we don’t need to access very often.”

Locals don’t sound too impressed with the scifi name. Prinville’s building official told the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce: “That’s what they’re calling it,” he said. “All these little data centers have their weird names. That’s just what they’re calling this one.”

Perhaps we should consider an alternative motivation for the goofy-sounding name. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg just doesn’t want anyone to suspect he’s using that deep-freeze action as a cryonics chamber in the event the stock keeps tanking. He does talk an awful lot about the long term, eliding Facebook’s immediate woes entirely. For example, here’s this morning’s Wall Street Journal, rehashing a recent all-hands meeting to address the stock slide:

Mr. Zuckerberg went on to tell employees that the press doesn’t know the company’s future plans, and if they did, they would have the same faith in Facebook’s ability to fulfill its lofty stock-market valuation. He said that investments the company has made over the last six to 12 months will soon bear fruit, the people said.

Maybe if he just takes a quick nap, let’s say 18 months, he’ll wake up to a better stock price and a plan. Facebook’s ‘Sub-Zero’ Facility: Data Storage, or Zuck’s Cryogenic Backup Plan?