Peek inside Facebook’s massive data centres that store all your photos, ‘likes,’ and chats

Technician Prineville 2 - Facebook data center

If you open Facebook on your phone for 30 seconds, you’re activity likely touches over 1,000 servers.

Much of that “magic” happens in the social network’s own massive data centres.

Since 2011, Facebook has built four centres in Oregon, Iowa, North Carolina, and Sweden with innovative, environmentally-conscious designs that it has made available to the public through its Open Compute Project.

In July, it began constructing a fifth in Fort Worth, Texas.

Take a peek inside those centres and see where all your Facebook data “lives.”

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[slide
permalink=”/#from-the-outside-facebooks-data-centers-look-like-massive-warehouses-heres-an-aerial-view-of-the-300000-square-foot-north-carolina-location-1″
title=”From the outside, Facebook’s data centres look like massive warehouses. Here’s an aerial view of the 300,000 square-foot North Carolina location:”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec6bd86ef1b008bb55f”
source=”Facebook”
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[slide
permalink=”/#but-the-building-isnt-all-high-tech-servers-heres-where-employees-sit-2″
title=”But the building isn’t all high-tech servers. Here’s where employees sit:”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec6bd86ef10008bb532″
source=”Facebook”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#thanks-to-its-proprietary-designs-facebook-has-saved-itself-2-billion-in-infrastructure-costs-since-2011-3″
title=”Thanks to its proprietary designs, Facebook has saved itself $2 billion in infrastructure costs since 2011.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec6bd86ef19008bb4e8″
source=”Facebook”
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credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#when-you-look-at-one-of-facebooks-old-server-racks-compared-to-its-new-ones-the-physical-differences-are-immediately-apparent-4″
title=”When you look at one of Facebook’s old server racks compared to its new ones, the physical differences are immediately apparent.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc2773bd86ef14008bb5ff”
source=”Business Insider / Jillian D’Onfro”
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credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#facebook-has-custom-designed-its-servers-and-power-supplies-including-its-upss-or-uninterruptible-power-sources-which-provides-emergency-power-if-the-main-power-fails-this-is-the-inside-of-its-data-center-in-lulea-sweden-5″
title=”Facebook has custom-designed its servers and power supplies, including its UPS’s, or ‘uninterruptible power sources,’ which provides emergency power if the main power fails. This is the inside of its data center in Lulea, Sweden.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec7bd86ef20008bb51a”
source=”Facebook”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#heres-a-closer-look-at-one-of-its-open-racks-the-rack-gets-integrated-into-the-center-infrastructure-facebooks-grid-to-gates-philosophy-dictates-the-interdependence-of-everything-from-the-power-grid-to-the-gates-in-the-chips-on-each-motherboard-6″
title=”Here’s a closer look at one of its open racks. The rack gets integrated into the center infrastructure. Facebook’s ‘grid to gates’ philosophy dictates the interdependence of ‘everything from the power grid to the gates in the chips on each motherboard.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec9bd86ef12008bb4c1″
source=”Facebook”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#facebooks-goal-is-to-make-its-centers-as-efficient-as-possible-which-includes-paying-attention-to-little-details-like-eschewing-the-common-practicing-of-putting-plastic-bezels-in-front-of-its-servers-removing-the-plastic-allows-the-servers-to-draw-in-more-air-7″
title=”Facebook’s goal is to make its centres as efficient as possible, which includes paying attention to little details, like eschewing the common practicing of putting plastic bezels in front of its servers. Removing the plastic allows the servers to draw in more air.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec9bd86ef16008bb5d2″
source=”Facebook”
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credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#not-that-efficient-means-small-its-first-prineville-oregon-data-center-alone-has-950-miles-worth-of-wires-and-cables-inside-thats-roughly-the-distance-between-boston-and-indianapolis-8″
title=”Not that ‘efficient’ means small. Its first Prineville, Oregon data center alone has 950 miles worth of wires and cables inside (that’s roughly the distance between Boston and Indianapolis).”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec8bd86ef14008bb5ac”
source=”Facebook”
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credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#heres-the-outside-of-its-first-custom-data-center-in-prineville-oregon-it-uses-38-less-energy-than-facebooks-previous-facilities-while-costing-24-less-9″
title=”Here’s the outside of its first custom data center in Prineville, Oregon. It uses 38% less energy than Facebook’s previous facilities, while costing 24% less.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec8bd86ef0e008bb4e7″
source=”Facebook”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#which-is-great-for-facebook-but-also-the-planet-10″
title=”Which is great for Facebook, but also the planet.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc2c099dd7cc23008bb5e8″
source=”Business Insider / Jillian D’Onfro”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#because-of-the-way-servers-are-connected-technicians-can-easily-find-remove-and-fix-failed-components-11″
title=”Because of the way servers are connected, technicians can easily find, remove, and fix failed components.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc2b069dd7cc1c008bb5c3″
source=”Alan Brandt”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#each-technician-can-zoom-around-the-part-of-the-data-center-theyre-responsible-for-with-their-portable-diagnostic-station-12″
title=”Each technician can zoom around the part of the data center they’re responsible for with their portable diagnostic station”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec6bd86ef16008bb5d1″
source=”Facebook”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#as-all-its-servers-whir-away-facebook-needs-to-prevent-them-from-overheating-in-its-swedish-center-facebook-sucks-air-in-from-outside-to-cool-its-tens-of-thousands-of-servers-13″
title=”As all its servers whir away, Facebook needs to prevent them from overheating. In its Swedish center, Facebook sucks air in from outside to cool its tens of thousands of servers.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec7bd86ef1a008bb500″
source=”Facebook”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#cool-air-also-flows-through-a-series-of-air-filters-and-a-misting-chamber-where-a-fine-spray-helps-to-further-control-the-temperature-and-humidity-14″
title=”Cool air also flows through a series of air filters and a ‘misting chamber’ where a fine spray helps to further control the temperature and humidity.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec5bd86ef20008bb519″
source=”Facebook”
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[slide
permalink=”/#air-hitting-the-severs-cant-be-too-cold-either-though-heres-a-mixing-room-where-cold-outdoor-air-combines-with-server-exhaust-heat-to-regulate-the-temperature-15″
title=”Air hitting the severs can’t be too cold either, though. Here’s a ‘mixing room’ where cold outdoor air combines with server exhaust heat to regulate the temperature.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec5bd86ef0f008bb524″
source=”Facebook”
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credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#facebook-calls-the-area-where-all-this-happens-the-cooling-penthouse-the-top-half-of-each-facility-manages-all-the-cooling-which-takes-advantage-of-the-fact-that-cold-air-falls-and-hot-air-rises-16″
title=”Facebook calls the area where all this happens the ‘cooling penthouse.’ The top half of each facility manages all the cooling, which takes advantage of the fact that cold air falls and hot air rises.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec5bd86ef13008bb55d”
source=”Facebook”
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credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#so-next-time-youre-on-facebook-try-to-visualize-all-your-interactions-passing-through-these-data-centers-where-facebooks-servers-process-more-than-10-trillion-queries-a-day-17″
title=”So, next time you’re on Facebook, try to visualise all your interactions passing through these data centres, where Facebook’s servers process more than 10 *trillion* queries a day.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc1ec9bd86ef19008bb4e9″
source=”Facebook”
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]
[/slideshow]