Facebook plots fourth U.S. data center in Texas

Promised to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, ​the Fort Worth site is expected to serve as a model for Facebook's Open Compute Project commitments.


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Facebook is growing its data center footprint once again with newly-announced plans to break ground on a new facility in Texas.

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The world's largest social network revealed on Wednesday it has already started construction on a new data center in Fort Worth.

The facility would mark Facebook's fourth data center in the United States and fifth worldwide, following locations in Oregon, North Carolina, Iowa and Sweden.

"Like its predecessors, we expect Fort Worth to be one of the most advanced, efficient, and sustainable data centers in the world," wrote Tom Furlong, Facebook's vice president of infrastructure, in prepared remarks. "Our continuing work on data center design is an important part of our overall infrastructure efficiency efforts, which have helped us save more than $2 billion in infrastructure costs over the last three years."

Facebook's homegrown data centers and related technologies are well established by now.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-headquartered company most recently bolstered its data center in Altoona, Iowa last November with a data center fabric described as a next-generation architecture developed for speeding up machine-to-machine traffic at scale.

Such objectives are critical for Facebook as the social media brand continues to rely on mobile channels for much of its revenue.

Ken Patchett, director of Facebook's west region of data center operations, noted in a blog post that the Fort Worth center will be critical in running Internet.org, the social conglomerate's ambitious initiative to bring Internet connectivity to developing markets and remote regions worldwide.

Also promised to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, the Fort Worth site is expected to serve as a model for Facebook's ongoing Open Compute Project and other open source tech commitments.

Patchett specified much of that power will come from a new wind energy site being constructed 90 miles away from the Fort Worth data center in partnership with Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation, and Starwood Energy Group.

Strikingly, the Fort Worth data center will also be relying on outdoor air instead of air conditioners for cooling.

"Yes, we can make that work even in the middle of the kinds of summers we have here in Texas," Patchett quipped.

Image via Facebook