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Efficient technology is vanity free
Those pizza box-looking cardboard slabs stuffed between the server trays are not there to warm lunch — they're there to force air down to the servers to cool them off. Traditional server towers also typically come with a plastic bezel on the front, but the team found out that by not putting them on there's no longer a need to commission the plastic or deploy it, and as a bonus the fans in the back don't have to work as hard (which obviously saves more engery). Facebook's message here: Looks are secondary to utility and efficiency.
Data analysis can influence design
This is the cold storage facility officials said is the redundant of the redundant. By unlocking user data, Facebook realized that 82 percent of traffic is on 8 percent of its photo base — so older photos that aren't in heavy rotation go here, where the servers are not as active or drawing on as much power. This makes server usage three times more efficient and the building five times more energy efficient, officials said.
Always plan for growth (especially when you're Facebook)
Facebook anticipates a growing need for cold storage, and it's got space planned and ready for commission. The cold storage facility in Forest City is shaped like an E, and so far only one leg of the letter is being used, and not even at full capacity. But with 400 billion photos on the social media site, and 350 million more coming in each day, there'll be no shortage of demand for the digital attic space.