Facebook will be building its first new server farm outside of the U.S. – in the Swedish city of Lulea. The location was chosen because of the cold climate – which will help keep the servers cool.
The social networking site boasts 800 million users worldwide. According to AP, Facebook director of site operations Tom Furlong said, “Facebook has more users outside the U.S. than inside. It was time for us to expand in Europe.”
When the data center is built in Sweden, users in Europe will get better performance from having a node for data traffic closer to them.
Currently, data is stored in sites across California, Virginia, and Oregon, with another being built in North Carolina.
The Lulea data center will have three 300,000-square foot buildings and will be completed by 2014. It will require 120 MW of energy, which will come from hydropower. Many hydropower stations are located on a river near Lulea. Each construction will be designed to have 14 backup diesel generators with a total output of 40MW.
The total price of the investment is not known but Lulea officials projected costs to be up to $760 million.
“We knocked on doors at Facebook's head office (in Palo Alto, California) and today they're moving in to Lulea – this is huge, really huge,” said Matz Engman, who heads the Lulea Business Agency, a public-private partnership working to attract businesses to the region.
With the freezing temperatures in Lulea, the city is ideal as a hub for server farms. In 2009, Google bought a paper mill in Finland and turned it into a data center, using the Baltic seawater as its cooling system.