Photo Tour Of Facebook’s New Datacenter

facebook american flag

Photo: Scobleizer

Today I was very fortunate to have gotten a tour of Facebook’s new datacenter up in Prineville, Oregon (map). This datacenter is the most energy efficient in the world and only a handful of press got a look. We’ll have a video up after editing it, but here’s a look at the datacenter in photos. I shot all of these photos on an unmodified iPhone 4 with Instagram, that just got an update today. For the panoramic photos I was using Occipital’s 360 app.

Here's the sight that we saw on arriving

Keep in mind this building is HUGE and there's a sizable solar array out front (here's a panoramic photo from inside that solar array), which doesn't really power much of the datacenter, but powers some of the buildings around the site. Photos don't really do it justice, but think about three average Walmarts put end-to-end.

Facebook is so big that it has its own flag

Walking in, yes, we are in the right place:

Just past the Facebook sign is a monitor in the lobby that shows you the state of the datacenter and how well the cooling systems are working

Inside the security door the local community made these quilts, which is their interpretation of what a social network looks like

First room filters the air. Second room filters it further.

Here's Thomas showing us one of the huge walls of filters (these filters are similar to the ones in my home heating system, except here Facebook has a wall of them).

Here's a better shot of just how massive this filtering room is

Then the air goes into a third room, one where the air is mixed to control humidity and temperature (if it's cold outside, as it was today, they bring some heat up from inside the datacenter and mix it here) and on the other side, there's a huge array of fans, each of which has a five horsepower motor (today the fans were moving at 1/3 speed, which makes them more efficient)

Here you can see the back sides of one of the huge banks of filters

Here Thomas stands in front of the fans

Here's a closeup look at one of the fans that forces air through the datacenter and through the filtering/processing rooms

Finally, the air moves through one final step before going downstairs into the datacenter

In this final step small jets spray micro-packets of water into the air. As the water evaporates, which it does very rapidly, it cools the air. One room I didn't take photos in was filled with pumps and reverse osmosis filters, which makes the water super pure so it works better when using it to cool in this way. One final set of filters makes sure no water gets into the datacenter. Here's a closer look at the array of water jets.

Here you can see the scale of the room that sprays that water

Here's a closeup of one of the jets of cooling water

Finally we got to follow the air down into the datacenter where there was a huge floor with dozens of rows. Each row had rack after rack of servers. Here Thomas stands in front of just one of those racks

This is a 180-degree view of the main corridor

Below you can click to see a panoramic photo of one of these rows.

What does this all mean?

Well, for one, it brings jobs to Prineville, which is a small town with about 10,000 residents in a very rural county (we drove about half an hour through mostly farmland just to get to Prineville). But listen to Prineville's mayor to hear what it means for her community.

Which brought up the question: why Prineville?

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