Facebook today took the unusual step of starting to share with the world the techniques it has developed to make its data center in Prineville, Ore., dramatically more power-efficient and cost effective to operate.
The company explains its mission on its new Open Compute Project site. Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, said during an event today that the company believes sharing the initiative “will help the ecosystem grow.”
GigaOm has a detailed rundown of the technical advances that Facebook is sharing, from some super-wonky specifications to seemingly simple stuff like using using only one screw to ground a server, and using fewer but larger fans for cooling.
Data Center Knowledge calls Facebook’s move a “market departure from industry practice.” It could have implications for other major data center operators, including Microsoft, Amazon.com and Google. The companies compete aggressively behind the scenes to achieve superior “power usage effectiveness,” better known in the industry as PUE.
“It’s time to stop treating data centers like Fight Club and demystify them,” said Jonathan Heiliger, the head of Facebook’s technical operations, during the Facebook event unveiling the plans.