updated 03:00 pm EDT, Sun March 9, 2014
Rapid Deployment Data Center concept features modular piece design
Facebook announced that it will be using its Rapid Deployment Data Center (RDDC) concept that was created through the Open Compute Project (OCP) for its latest build in as part of a second building at the existing Luleå, Sweden data center location. The design was displayed at the Open Compute Summit in January, showing the strides the company has made in data center construction and development since the official launch of their first center in Prineville, Oregon in 2011.
The design behind the RDDC concept will allow the Facebook to use prefab, modular pieces to create a chassis and materials for site-agnostic designs. The pieces are packed for transport in as little space as possible, and then assembled as pieces of the larger structure on site. Tightly packing and planning the pieces ahead of time reduces the limitations placed on oversized shipping methods, while making the most use of out of the shipping volume -- unlike shipping prefab containers.
This concept isn't new to the business world, as those familiar with car assembly lines or customers of Ikea would know. However, it is a cost-saving approach to data centers for Facebook, which has gone through six iterations of the design since its stick-built method used for the Prineville data center. Construction times could theoretically be reduced, creating less of an impact on the community the data centers are being built in. Pre-made structures consist of parts such as wall panels and the framework over the cold isles made from "off-the-shelf components" that "easily mate with each other." The design attempts to keep "unique components" at a minimum.
Facebook notes that the second building will also feature servers built to OCP specifications. The new building will use the same renewable-sourced power through hydro-generated electricity from the Lule River that the first building utilizes.