Inside A Facebook Server Farm…

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

A few I may not agree with Time’s choice for Person of the Year but I can still respect a good Data Centre. These pictures from Time are worth a gander though the IT-minded among you will likely be frustrated at the lack of juicy details like storage codecs, protocols, server models & so on… (You can still admire the pretty cabling! 🙂 )

I’d like to imagine the sound of the place. A steady hum if all is well, a few beeps here & there as backups & rarely-used databases come online and the occasional step of an IT professional, walking among his servers like a shepherd in his flock.

The data center holds tens of thousands servers...

These rows of servers are set up to minimize the energy required to keep the data center running...

A close up of the servers in two racks...

The center includes sophisticated coolings systems and back up power supplies...

Cables connect servers in the center with each other and the entire facility with the outside world...

The center was constructed using a "layered replication" model that makes failure almost impossible, even if a regional power system blacks out...

The facility where photographer Martin Schoeller took these photos is located 25 minutes by car from Facebook HQ. The company is currently building a state-of-the-art data center in Prineville, Oregon, among other sites...

The servers process updates to Facebook users' pages as quickly as possible, so that a comment or post is live within seconds. Multiply that across 550 million (and counting) users and the power of the data center becomes awesome indeed...

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