Sigh. 180,000 servers? Yes, this appears to be the number of high-bandwidth machines that Facebook now deploys targeting roughly 900,000 users worldwide on a range of devices including desktops, smartphones and tablets.
According to Gigaom, this is almost six times the amount of servers it had in 2009, which numbered 30,000. By the end of 2010, it had 60,000 servers.
This means that over last two years it has added 120,000 servers to its global lineup of data centers, a growth of around 300%. That is staggering!
Of course, these are educated guesses made by some smart people at smart companies, like Amazon, but there is a strong possibility that these numbers may be higher. And, it has to scale quickly as Facebook now has more users outside the U.S. than inside.
In the same way that 100TB.com is launching new data center nodes, including Singapore, around the world to increase bandwidth for non-American users, Facebook is doing the same thing.
“European users would get better performance from having a node for data traffic closer to them,” said The Daily Mail. “Facebook currently stores data at sites in California, Virginia and Oregon and is building another facility in North Carolina.”
One of the most-talked about new facilities was the data center built in Northern Sweden which is just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. Google has followed a similar strategy, since these northern regions offer super-cool temperatures, which allow high-bandwidth servers to run at optimum capacity. Actually, it seems dedicated servers prefer ‘frozen’ over ‘cool’ these days as server engineers pursue zero downtime on millions of users accessing high-bandwidth applications off the web.
“The Lulea data center, which will consist of three 300,000-square foot (28,000-square meter) server buildings, is scheduled for completion by 2014,” said The Daily Mail. “The site will need 120 MW of energy, fully derived from hydropower.”
“While many server farms rely on chiller systems, Facebook’s will use an advanced cooling system powered by evaporating water. For around eight months of the year, the plant will cool itself using the icy outside air. The heat from the server racks will also warm up the offices at the plant.”
Moving data centers closer to users in Europe, Asia and South America is becoming a key priority for hosting providers in 2012. In order to remain competitive they need to demonstrate fast download speeds for pages and lightening-quick speeds for high-bandwidth applications.
New Intel Xeon E5 2600 processors, along with strong relationships to Tier 1 network carriers, allow companies like 100TB to offer 100 terabytes of data transfer per month, no matter what your location.