Facebook makes good on its Rapid Deployable Data Center

Datacenter announced in January gets its first production modules.

When Facebook announced the construction of their second datacenter in Luleå Sweden back in January, it also talked about their new plans for getting the facility up and running quickly with the Rapid Deployment Data Center (RDDC) modular system.

The self-contained, pre-designed modules, designed in conjunction with Emerson Network Power, would shave months off the process of building the new datacenter.

At the Datacenter Dynamics Converged conference on Tuesday, Facebook design engineer Marco Magarelli announced that the first of the 250 planned RDDC modules had already been deployed at the Luleå 2 facility, built next to Facebook’s original datacenter in Luleå. 

The basic RDDC concept Image: OCP

The RDDC modules, over 250 of which are planned to be shipped by Emerson to the new facility, are prefabricated, use as many standard construction and facilities components as possible, and are equipped with, according to Emerson, features such as power skids, evaporative air handlers, a water treatment plant, and datacenter superstructure solutions.  You can find details on the basics of the design at the Open Compute Project.

Facebook believes that using this modular infrastructure will reduce both the cost per data hall — Magarelli mentions a savings of £21,000 ($35,000) over traditional halls — and the time to operation, which is expected to be reduced by as much as ten months.

The onsite assembly of the modules reduces both the amount of material that needs to be shipped to the site and the waste associated with traditional building projects. While the solution delivered by the Facebook-Emerson collaborative effort is tailored specifically to Facebook’s needs, the details of the flat-pack design are available on the OCP website.