The social media heavyweight, Facebook, which has many hundreds of millions of users will be building a server farm near the Arctic Circle, this will be the first outside the United States. It is intended that it will improve the performance for those based in Europe who are using the social networking site.
Many location around Europe were looked at, but finally Facebook chose the northern Swedish city of Lulea for its data centre. This was because of its colder climate which will help keep the servers cool, but it is also in the vicinity of nearby hydropower facilities which will potentially be used to provide the farm with green energy.
The company based in California is now spreading its influence internationally, with more users in the rest of the world than in the US it makes sense for the social media giant to expand.
At present Facebook currently stores data in sites across the US, including California, Virginia, Oregon and another in North Carolina. It is hoped that having a information node closer to Europe will help create a better experience but it definitely signals a shift into the wider world for the company.
The new site in Sweden, the Lulea data centre, will consist of three 300,000 square foot server buildings and it is expected that the site will be completed and ready by 2014. It will require 120MW of energy all being supplied using hydropower.
Facebook have said that the hydropower stations which lay close to the new site have the potential to provide twice as much electricity compared to the Hoover Dam in the US.
Blackouts are also being considered with construction designs asking for each one of the buildings to have 14 backup diesel generators with a total output of 40MW. It has also been revealed that the project is to cost $709 million.
“We knocked on doors at Facebook’s head office and today they’re moving in to Lulea – this is huge, really huge,” said Matz Engman, who heads the Lulea Business Agency.