Facebook recently disclosed that it is relentlessly testing its Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp apps in a remote location in the Oregon Desert. Its Prineville, Oregon-based data center needs so much computing power that several ISPs have to provide Internet service to keep it going.
The data center is a model for Facebook’s other similar centers across the U.S. and Europe. Facebook needs a high-powered facility because of the countless requests for images, news feeds, and status updates coming from the social network billion plus users.
The Prineville plant, which was opened in 2011, also has lots of servers to support the company’s research in Artificial Intelligence and thousands of Android- and iOS-powered handsets that allows its technicians test apps on a 24 h basis.
The data center also impresses with size: it has four buildings, each unit being able to host two Walmarts inside. But you’ll need to drive for about three hours from Portland to reach it. Interestingly enough, in Facebook facility’s vicinity Apple has built its own hig-tech data center dubbed ConnectWay.
Google has a data center in The Dalles, Oregon since the place has cheap electric power coming from hydroelectric plants. So,this may be the reason Facebook and other tech giants picked the U.S.’s ninth largest state to run operations.
Temperature is regulated through monster fans and water coolants instead of resource-draining air conditioning systems. Inside the center, the temperature doesn’t go beyond 82F. Facebook says that the facility is so energy efficient that it has reached 1.07 on the power efficiency scale. In other words, the facility’s non-computing devices use just seven percent of the center’s energy use.
The building also host super-powerful computing devices such as servers that are upgraded on a constant basis. One hundred twenty of the 165 technicians that work at the facility keep a constant watch on the servers and replace broken parts.
Facebook also boasts that its stored data is not redundant, i.e. there aren’t any duplicates of the information. Instead the data and the center that hosts it are resilient i.e. ready to be at the fingertip of Facebook users.
However, the company has backup of the data but in other centers such the ones in Iowa or Sweden. This makes each facility all the more energy-efficient.
Yet, the most important piece of news is that the company wants your phone to be as energy efficient as it can be too. So, it tests its popular apps on newer and older handsets to ensure that the software doesn’t drain too much life from your phone’s battery.
Technicians are especially interested in app updates that may affect battery performance. As a result, if they spot an anomaly they try to fix it.
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