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Closer Look at the Facebook’s Insane Hardware

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Facebook needs powerful infrastructure to support numerous activities that users engage in, as well as enormous content in the form of photos, videos and text.

The social networking site’s infrastructure is capable of supporting additional photos, videos and texts that both existing and new users upload every day, as well as activities that Facebook users engage in during the day and at night.

In order to support all the numerous activities as well as massive content, the company has constructed four data centers. It is currently putting up two more infrastructural facilities. Additionally, Facebook leases extra server space from providers of data centers both inside and outside the USA.

The company’s extensive network of storage centers and servers seamlessly work together to satisfy the needs of all users of the social networking site.

Are you aware that before your Facebook homepage becomes available, the system must access hundreds of servers, process huge amount of data and then deliver the desired results within a second?

During the initial stages, when the company still had no personal server farms, it used to manage its physical infrastructure by renting data center space on wholesale from third parties. However, it stopped renting data center space many years ago.

It developed extremely powerful internal-data-center engineering capacities that are used to support one of the most extensive data center portfolios in the world.

Location of Facebook’s hardware

The company constructed its first data center in Prineville. This enabled Facebook to have greater cooling capacity as well as superior customization of power.

The giant social networking site has put up other state of the art data centers in Forest City (N. Carolina), Altoona (Iowa) and Lulea (Sweden).

Other infrastructural facilities are being up in Forth Worth (Texas), Los Lunas (N. Mexico) as well as Clonee (Ireland).

How large is the physical facility at Oregon?

As more and more people join Facebook, the infrastructural requirements grow in equal proportion.

Initially, structural engineers had planned that the Oregon Data Center would be 147,000 sq ft in size. When construction got underway, a strategic decision was made to add an extra 160,000 sq ft. As a result, the facility became 307,000 sq ft in size.

In the year 2015, the company secured requisite permits to construct another humongous facility in Prineville. When complete, the data center will be 487,000 sq ft in size.

The type of servers used by Facebook

Servers used by the giant social networking site are powered by Intel and AMD chips. The chassis and motherboards were (and still are) specially designed and constructed by Quanta, a Taiwanese company.

In the recent past, Facebook experimented with servers powered by ARM. According to a renowned engineer who previously worked for the social networking site, FB ads spy tool, paints, bezels and any other unnecessary components are usually eliminated.

Power supplies and cabling are fixed at convenient locations to enable employees work in perfect environment.

The servers consist of specially-made power supplies which allow the use of 277V alternating current, rather than the normal 208V.

Electric power enters the system at 400/ 277V and directly goes to the servers. Since it passes through customized power distribution units and UPS systems, the power by-passes the step-down process that many data centers consist of. Delta Electronics and Power One (companies based in Taiwan and California respectively) were responsible for building the power supplies.

Facebook chose to install UPS units on its servers, instead of batteries. Each UPS system contains twenty batteries, with 5 strings of forty-eight Volt direct current batteries.

The power supplies comprise of two connections. One is for direct-current based Uninterrupted Power Supply, while the other is for alternating-current utility power. Additionally, systems have been put in place to manage current irregularities as well as surge suppression.

The number of servers used by Facebook

The giant social networking site doesn’t clearly state the number of web servers that support its infrastructure.

Related: Why Small Businesses Should You Facebook For Advertising

In the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, Facebook was running approximately 10,000, 30,000 and 60,000 servers respectively.

Today, the social networking site runs hundreds of thousands of serves. According to the latest report that Facebook submitted to the Securities Exchange Commission, it owns network equipment worth 3.36 billion US dollars.

Is Facebook’s infrastructure in Sweden different from the others?

The infrastructure in Sweden is substantially different from the others. The number of generators was reduced by 70% because the power grid that serves the region is extremely reliable.

Using fewer generators significantly reduces the effects that the infrastructure has on the surrounding environment. The amount of fuel that is stored on site is less. Additionally, the emissions resulting from testing of generators is very little.