Facebook Reveals New Data Center Concept Inspired By Ikea

The social network is exploring modular architecture partly to make its physical infrastructure “faster, leaner, smarter.”

Facebook Reveals New Data Center Concept Inspired By Ikea
[Image: Flickr user tomilattu]

Facebook is in the midst of rolling out an ever-so-slightly different redesign to its News Feed, meaning it trimmed down its widgets and shifted some font weights. And now its major data centers sprinkled across the globe could soon get svelte new makeovers, too, as Facebook looks to make its physical infrastructure “faster, learner, [and] smarter.”

The Open Compute Project started out, essentially, as a small cadre of Facebook engineers working out of the company’s Palo Alto headquarters whose preliminary task is to design the social network’s data centers from the ground up. Today, the group revealed an architecture concept for a new kind of “rapid deployment data center,” or RDCC, which will use modular construction principles to speed up construction of new infrastructure. Facebook will need it, too, with now 1.2 billion users and a growing network of standalone applications under its Zuckerbergian umbrella.

Each chassis in the RDCC–which will hold the servers containing your digital likes, photos, and whatnot–will be prefabricated in a factory, meaning individual room components can be snapped together quickly on site, kind of like Legos. Everything will be packed in a bit more tightly, too, drawing inspiration from “the flat-pack assemblies made famous by Ikea.”

If all goes according to plan, the new modular facilities will be used to build a second Facebook data center in the Swedish town of Luleå sometime in the very near future. You can read more about the concept here.

As of now, you won’t be able to buy a cheap but attractive nightstand at the centers.

About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more.



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