Facebook Shows Dedication to Data Backup with 'Sub-Zero' Facility

Few companies house more data than Facebook. With whatever the user count is up to now, fake profiles notwithstanding, (is it over a billion yet?), the amount of data that the company has to handle is simply staggering. And whatever you think of Zuckerberg and Friends, they’re not dumb; they know that in order to protect the Facebook behemoth, they can’t afford any outages or data loss, so they’re taking measures to shore up their backups, big time.

According to a Wired report, Facebook is building a new type of cold-storage data center that will utilize a “low-power deep-storage” hard disk-based server that only kicks on when needed and otherwise shuts itself off. The energy that these new servers will burn compared to current Facebook servers is purportedly 1.5KW compared to 4.5KW.

Facebook data center
Facebook's Prineville, Oregon facility

The 62,000-foot facility, code-named “Sub-Zero”, is being built next Facebook’s larger data center in Prineville, Oregon and will serve as the company’s emergency backup site. (The social networking giant maintains two backups of everything; one is always readily available so users won’t even notice if there’s a problem with the primary storage, and the other is for emergencies only.)

Facebook’s engineers haven’t actually, technically, built the servers and designed the software for Sub-Zero yet; they have 6-9 months to get that done, but we imagine that if the mighty Zuck is your boss, you find ways to get these sorts of things innovated and implemented by your deadline.