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Facebook to build third datacentre in Europe to underpin virtual reality push

Social networking giant hails country's cool climate as one of the many reasons it has decided to site its latest server farm in Denmark

Facebook is building a datacentre in Odense, Denmark, to underpin its ongoing push to expand how the social networking site’s users can interact with one another.

According to a report by Danish news outlet Fyens.dk, the facility is expected to cost more than $100m to build and will create 150 jobs once up and running.

At a press conference in Denmark on 19 January, Niall McEntegart, director of datacentre operations at Facebook, said the facility would play an important role in shaping the way its users interact with the site and each other in the years to come.

“Our mission at Facebook is to connect the world. And our datacentres house the infrastructure that makes it possible to connect billions of people,” he said.  

“Today, people connect through messages, photos and videos, and we’re working to create any even more immersive experience through live video, 360 photos and video, and even through virtual reality, to ultimately stay connected to family and friends and understand the world.

“A new datacentre will help ensure our global infrastructure can continue to handle this richer content,” he added.

The Denmark facility will be the third the company has built outside of the US, with McEntegart citing the country’s cool climate as an important factor in its decision to site its latest European datacentre there.

The company’s other non-US datacentres are located in Sweden and Ireland.

Facebook committed to eco-friendly datacentres

The location means the company will not need to invest in the deployment of “energy-intensive” air-conditioning systems to keep servers inside cool, which – in turn – will help with its commitment to ensuring its datacentres are as energy-efficient as possible, he added.

In keeping with this, the site will be powered exclusively using renewable power sources.

Read more about European datacentre expansions

“We’re committed to powering this connectivity with the smallest footprint possible and this sentiment carries over into our datacentres. It will be one of the most advanced, energy efficient datacentres in the world,” he said.

Facebook’s commitment to ensuring the expansion of its global datacentre footprint is not at the expense of the environment secured it praise from Greenpeace in the latest edition of its Clicking Clean report.

The company’s commitment to only citing its US datacentres in locations where access to renewable power is assured was one area the environmental lobbyists complimented Facebook on.

“Facebook’s expansion of its own datacentres in Texas, Ireland and, most recently, in New Mexico, provide compelling evidence that Facebook is making access to renewable energy a core requirement for its growth strategy,” the report stated. 

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