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Facebook sets out plans to open 10th datacentre by 2019

Social media giant to build new datacentre in New Albany, Ohio, to future-proof its infrastructure in the face of growing user demand

Facebook has opened up about plans to build its 10th datacentre in New Albany, Ohio, as the number of users signed up to use the social networking site continues to grow.

The $750m Facebook datacentre is on course to be up and running by 2019 and will be powered exclusively by renewable energy, the company has pledged.

“We are committed to powering our datacentres with clean and renewable energy, and New Albany is no exception,” said Rachel Peterson, director of datacentre strategy and development at Facebook, in a blog post.

In terms of site selection, the city ticks a number of boxes for Facebook, said Peterson. “When considering a new location for a datacentre, we look for clean and renewable energy solutions, a strong pool of local talent for both construction and long-term operations staff, and great partnerships within the local community,” she said. “We found all of this in New Albany.”

The 22-acre facility will be kitted out using hardware designs submitted to the Facebook-backed Open Compute Project, said Peterson, and will be cooled using direct evaporative cooling systems and outside air.

Facebook recently expanded its company mission statement to include details of the role it hopes to play in helping users foster a sense of community and forge closer ties with people in the wider world.

In a follow-up press conference about the project, Peterson said:  “We are bringing the world together through many difference experiences – through photos, live videos and even virtual reality.

“Today we see even more than one billion people using groups on Facebook each month. Our new dc will help to ensure our global infrastructure can continue to support the Facebook community, which is now more than two billion people.”

Read more about new datacentre builds

The development of the datacentre will help New Albany’s local community by allowing Facebook to support the city’s continued economic growth by creating new jobs.

“We want to do what we can to help New Albany continue to thrive, and we look forward to being part of the community,” said Peterson.

“Over the long term, we typically invest hundreds of millions of dollars in each datacentre, which, in turn, supports thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of long-term operational positions. We are also committed to sourcing labour and materials locally where we can – and we find ways to contribute directly in the community.”

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)