updated 06:44 am EST, Fri February 22, 2013
Data center to save a third on power, archive images
Facebook is planning to build an efficient storage system for old photographs uploaded to the service. The new "cold storage" facility will house old photos and store them for future retrieval, in a bid to be more efficient in terms of power and capacity when dealing with considerable amounts of personal data.
The company claims that 82-percent of all traffic on the social network concerns just 8 percent of the images it stores, forcing Facebook to find a way of storing the seldom-requested data in a cheaper and more efficient manner. The facility in Prineville, Oregon will operate three 16,000 square-foot-data hubs, which the Oregonian reports will hold an exabyte of data. In contrast to existing data centers in Prineville that actively provide service, the cold storage facility will use servers that will be in hibernation, with servers being turned on when data is requested from them. The sleeping servers will add to the amount of time spent waiting for an older photograph to be server, but it is said by Facebook communication manager Michael Kirkland to take "a matter of seconds, or milliseconds."
It is estimated that the cold storage center will cost a third less than its other existing data centers, which used 71 million kilowatts of electricity during the first nine months of operation.