Facebook Holds Grand Opening For 2nd U.S. Data Center

Today Facebook held a grand opening for its second data center in the U.S., located in Forest City, North Carolina.

The $450 million data center now hosts live traffic on servers that Facebook has open sourced.

The facilities include an air system that Facebook also designed with partners in the Open Compute Project announced a year ago.

Already, Facebook is scaling up so quickly that the company is constructing a second building on the campus. You can read about the expansion where else but on the Forest City data center’s own timeline page on the social network.

A blog post on the data center’s timeline page, written by George Henry, describes the grand opening:

We’re thrilled to announce that our new data center in Forest City, North Carolina, is now online and serving live user traffic. In the 16 months since we broke ground on the facility, a tremendous amount of effort from a wide range of contributors has gone into to making the site what it is today. (More than 1.2 million hours from nearly 2,000 people, to be specific.)

The thing we’re probably most proud of here is the way everyone involved with the project came together to make it happen. This includes everyone from our team here at Facebook, for their work and their vision; to local leaders and officials, for helping pave the way; to the construction crews, for doing the heavy lifting (sometimes literally); to the members of the community, for making us feel at home in Forest City.

But there are a number of technical accomplishments at the facility that we’re proud of too. It’s no mean feat to bring a service like Facebook to more than 845 million people around the world, and our innovative data centers play a big role in making that possible. Here are a few of the highlights on the tech side at Forest City.

Forest City is the first major deployment of the v2 Open Compute Project web servers, which are in turn are some of the first to use Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor in production.

We expect Forest City to join our facility in Prineville, Oregon, as one of the most energy efficient in the world, with a projected power utilization effectiveness (PuE) measurement for the entire facility of 1.06 to 1.08.

Forest City will be the first live test of the Open Compute Project’s outdoor-air cooling designs in an environment where temperature and humidity conditions are considered to be outside the range of typical data center operations.

Of course, our work here is by no means done. Right now, we’re making great progress on a second building on the site that mirrors the first, and are on track to complete it in 2012. We are also committed to keep evolving the technologies and designs at the facility, and are excited to be growing one of the world’s most energy efficient data centers in your backyard.

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