Mark Zuckerberg Just Released Rare Photos of Facebook’s Ultra-Advanced Data Center

"The main data hall is so big that engineers move around on scooters." - Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook
"The data center is huge, but the idea that launched it began on the back of this paper napkin. Late one night, while traveling, engineer Jay Park sketched his vision for a system that streamlined the way power moves from the local utility grid to our servers." - Mark Zuckerberg
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"The equipment is reduced to its basics so it runs cooler. It can also be easily accessed and repaired quickly. A few years ago, it took an hour to repair a server hard drive. At Luleå, that’s down to two minutes." - Mark Zuckerberg
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“There is no more efficient data center in the world.” - Jay Park, director of data center design engineering
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"About 150 people work here, but the data halls are frequently empty. Because of the simplified design, we need only one technician for every 25,000 servers." - Mark Zuckerberg
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"Luleå is a small coastal town just south of the Arctic Circle, and near the top of the world. It’s surrounded by dense forests and icy rivers." - Mark Zuckerberg
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"I love this shot because it looks like a sci-fi movie. These enormous fans draw in the outside air to cool the tens of thousands of servers in the data hall. In the winter, when temperatures plunge to -30 degrees the situation is reversed, and the heat from the servers warm the massive buildings." - Mark Zuckerberg
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“Look at these racks, the network devices, the cabling. Everything is like reference model!” - Max Zavyalov, network engineer in edge & network services team
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"Old and obsolete hard drives are crunched, forever protecting privacy. Christer Jonsson is in charge of this important task. 'I must be very careful,' he says." - Mark Zuckerberg
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“The biggest challenge working here? Getting to the data center by car when it is -30 degrees C outside!” - Emilie De Clercq, data center technician
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"The center opened in 2013, and was our first outside the US. Wherever possible, we used the beautiful wood and art of the area to showcase local craftsmanship." - Mark Zuckerberg
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“There’s a beauty in all of this. It’s like a massive and very well-orchestrated machine, where everything works in concert and allows people across the planet to communicate and share in an incredibly efficient way.” - Joel Kjellgren, Luleå site manager
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"The building's exterior reflects the innovative designs inside." - Mark Zuckerberg
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"Working here is to be trusted with great responsibilities since this is a really important center for all our users. I like the challenge to not only do my best, but also to always find better and more safe solutions for us." - Joakim Karlson, mechanical systems specialist
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“It is important for people to know that nothing leaves the site and their data is safe. The old drives are destroyed." - Christer Jonsson, server technician
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"It’s a very important job, and I am very proud to be trusted with that responsibility.” - Linnéa Svallfors, security officer
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Curious what the world’s most advanced data center looks like?

Mark Zuckerberg just gave us a peek inside Facebook’s Luleå data center. In a Facebook post this afternoon, he shared 16 photos as the first installment of a series of “rare photos of the most advanced technology Facebook is building around the world,” promising we can expect more in the coming months.

“It’s a key part of our global infrastructure, and it uses a variety of local natural resources to increase efficiency and save power,” the Facebook CEO wrote of the Luleå data center, which has a main building the size of six football fields.

The center is named after the small town it’s located in, which is less than 70 miles south of the Arctic Circle. This is no coincidence and actually serves a very important purpose for how the center operates. The temperature in the area is below 50 degrees most days, which Zuckerberg explains allows them to use large fans to pull in the outside air to naturally cool the thousands of warm servers inside. What’s more, the center is powered by a dozen hydroelectric plants that enable it to be 10 percent more efficient than traditional data centers and use almost 40 percent less power.

In the photos—shown in the above slides—you can see the facility itself, the equipment and architectural design elements. Another photo shows the original concept for the center, which was drawn on a napkin. Zuckerberg also includes fun facts with each photo (like that people use scooters to get around because of the size, for example) and also features some of the center’s employees.

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