Facebook’s datacenter transparency

Facebook continues to make information about its datacenter design and operations available for public scrutiny.

Not simply content with giving away its designs via the Open Compute Project, Facebook continues to give anyone interested a view into their operations via a public dashboard that shows the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) in almost real time. The information is on a 2.5 hour delay and updates every 60 seconds, giving anyone who cares to look a view into the operation of its datacenter.

The Facebook Data Center Dashboard


The public interface, which now makes available over a full year's worth of data that can be used to look at performance and efficiency over time, is available for their datacenters in Oregon and North Carolina. The front-end code for these datacenter dashboards was released when the project was made public a year ago, but Facebook has now gone a step further and released not only the UI code but also the source code ( both via GitHub) for the back-end aggregation tool.

While the PUE metric is in wide use, the Green Grid-designed WUE is still making its way to greater acceptance. As many different types of cooling become popular in the datacenter, a focus on water usage may less easily translate across datacenters due to different cooling methodologies and the relative importance of water use. PUE, even though it can be manipulated by how it is measured, has become a standard for relative comparison across datacenters. Realistically, both numbers are most valuable as comparison points across time for the same facility.