Facebook debuts ‘Rapid Deployment Data Centre’ design in Swedish facility

Facebook is expanding its Luleå datacentre in Sweden by deploying Rapid Deployment Data Centre (RDDC) design developed in collaboration with Emerson Power Network

In less than a year since Facebook turned on its Arctic datacentre in Luleå, Sweden, for traffic, it is already planning a second phase. Luleå 2 will be the first Facebook facility to employ the new “Rapid Deployment Data Center” (RDDC) designs.

The Rapid Deployment datacentre design was showcased by the company in January at the Open Compute Summit.

RDDC involves the use of pre-made modular sections that are assembled on site, reducing the duration and local impact of building work.

“Just as the great Swedish company Ikea revolutionised how furniture is designed and built, we hope that Luleå 2 will become a model for the next generation of data centers,” said Facebook engineers on its blog.

Facebook has roped in Emerson Network Power to design and deploy the second datacentre facility in Luleå. Facebook’s RDDC design will incorporate a number of modular design elements, including pre-fabricated materials and on-site assembly, to enable an increase in the speed of deployment and reduction in material use.

Luleå 2 will span approximately 125,000² ft. and Emerson will deliver over 250 shippable datacentre modules, including power skids, evaporative air handlers, a water treatment plant, and datacentre superstructure solutions. 

“We expect this new approach to datacentre design will enable us to construct and deploy new capacity twice as fast as our previous approach,” said Facebook’s datacentre architect Marco Magarelli at the Open Compute Summit.

Just as the great Swedish company Ikea revolutionised how furniture is designed and built, we hope Luleå 2 will become a model for the next generation of data centers

Facebook engineers

The existing Arctic datacentre, which stores users’ photos, videos, comments, and Likes, is one of the most efficient and sustainable datacentres in the world and is powered by locally generated hydro-electric energy. Luleå 1 provides a PUE of 1.05, against the industry average of 2.0.

“Because of our relentless focus on efficiency, we are always looking for ways to optimise our datacentres, including accelerating build times and reducing material use,” said Jay Park, director of datacentre design for Facebook. 

“We are excited to work with Emerson to pilot the RDDC concept in Luleå and apply it at the scale of a Facebook datacentre," he said.

Like its predecessor, Luleå 2 will be one of the most efficient and sustainable datacentres in the world, powered by 100% renewable energy. It will also feature the latest in Open Compute Project server, storage, mechanical, and electrical designs, according to Emerson.

“We worked with Facebook to understand their wants and needs, and we collectively developed an integrated, cost-effective, tailored solution,” said Scott Barbour, global business leader of Emerson Network Power. “This collaboration with Facebook illustrates our competencies in modular construction and showcases next-generation thinking."

Emerson can provide global, turnkey datacentre services comprising design, construction, critical infrastructure equipment, building management system, and services, Barbour claimed.

Facebook’s new Luleå facility will also showcase the IT giant’s innovative infrastructure hardware. “As with Luleå 1, all of the racks, servers, storage systems, power distribution networks, and other components will be built to Open Compute Project (OCP) specifications,” its engineer said on its blog.

OCP is an industry-wide coalition of technology companies that is creating cost and energy efficient designs and sharing them for free under an open-source model.

While the new Swedish facility will be the first to deploy the rapid deployment datacentre design, Facebook will use the design in its other facilities after assessing the performance of Luleå 2.

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