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Facebook building world’s ‘most advanced’ data centre in Irish village

Mon 25 Jan 2016

Clonee data center Facebook

Facebook has announced it is building a new data centre in Clonee, Ireland, a small village close to Dublin. The facility, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims will be one of the “most advanced and energy efficient data centres in the world,” will be the social network’s second outside of the U.S., and its sixth globally.

The new centre will be located just a 30-minute drive from Facebook’s international headquarters in the country’s capital. It is expected to cost €200 million (approx. £152 million) and employ around 2,000 people during the construction phase. The company hopes to open the facility in early 2018.

The newest addition to Facebook’s data centre footprint will cover 31,000 sq.m, with planning permission already received for a second building on the Clonee site. It is unclear whether construction will start on this project at the same time.

Commenting on the launch of the new Irish centre, Zuckerberg said: “Clonee Data Center will be one of the most advanced and energy efficient data centers in the world. It will feature the latest server, storage and network designs developed through the Open Compute Project, and will be powered by 100% renewable energy.”

The Open Compute Project, founded in 2011, is an organisation dedicated to sharing innovative data centre design and products to make them more efficient. Members also include Microsoft, Apple, Cisco and Bank of America.

In this case, Zuckerberg noted that the renewable energy will be wind power. The Clonee centre will be cooled with air from outside the facility – a method which will incorporate an indirect system to filter the salt from winds from the Irish Sea.

The CEO added: “We’re glad to be investing in Ireland, to become a part of the Clonee community, and to continue building the massive infrastructure that connects our global community.”

Facebook’s first data centre outside of the U.S. is located in Lulea, Sweden, and is similarly based on Open Compute Project efficient designs. Opened in 2013, the colocation bases are powered by locally generated hydro-electricity and use the cold Nordic air to cool the servers. Waste heat is also used to heat support rooms and offices on site.

Last year, British company the BladRoom Group, which specialises in the design of data centres, filed a lawsuit against Facebook. It claimed that Facebook had stolen its designs, and that the substantial value of the work ended up in the Swedish Lulea centre.


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