Facebook Open Compute Project

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 8, 2011
Updated • Jan 19, 2015

Building and using efficient computing infrastructures is one of the goals of many successful Internet companies.

Small improvements in efficiency can have huge effects on the running costs, let alone the company's image as a "green" company.

Facebook has been working on their next generation data center for over a year, and managed to improve its efficiency by 38% while cutting down building and running costs by 24%.

Even better, they have decided to share the information with everyone in form of the Open Compute Project.

open compute project


Both technical specifications and CAD drawings have been released. The servers are "vanity free, with no extra plastic and significantly fewer parts than traditional servers".

  • Chassis: Completely screw-less, vanity free with no sharp corners designed for servicing with quick release components.
  • AMD Motherboards: Dual Opteron with 24 DIMM slots, custom designed, many features removed to reduce power consumption.
  • Intel Motherboards: Dual Intel Xeon with 18 DIMM slots, custom designed, many features removed to reduce power consumption.
  • Power Supply: State of the art power supply that is hot swap capable. 90+ efficiency

Data Centers

Cad drawings and technical specifications are available for the custom made data center components as well.

  • Electrical: High-efficiency electrical system with a "48VDC UPS system integrated with a 277VAC server power supply".
  • Mechanical: High-efficient cooling system that uses "100% airside economization with an evaporative cooling system".
  • Battery Cabinet: Backup power at "48 volt DC nominal to a pair of triplet racks in the event of an AC outage in the data center. The batteries are a sealed 12.5 volt DC nominal, high-rate discharge type with a 10 year lifespan, commonly used in UPS systems, connected in a series of four elements for each group (called a string), for a nominal string voltage of 48VDC. There are five strings in parallel in the cabinet."
  • Triple Racks: 90 servers have place in a triplet with one battery pair sitting in between a pair of triplets.

Facebook has revealed information about the energy efficiency of the new data center. The energy consumption per unit of computer power dropped by 38% in the new data center. The PUE, power usage effectiveness, is 1.073 which basically means that 92.7% of the energy reaches the Open Compute servers. The industry standard, according to Facebook's information sits at 1.5 PUE which means that only 50% of the energy reaches the servers.

Interested users can visit the Open Compute website for detailed information, and the aforementioned technical specifications and CAD drawings.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.