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Facebook chooses Oregon for the site of its new data center.

As the 7th most trafficked site in the US, Facebook has certainly done well for itself in the six years since its launch in 2004. At present, it has over 350 million users worldwide and every reason to believe it will continue growing exponentially in the coming years.

Of those 350 million users, I’m guessing about 350 million want fast, as-near-instantaneous-as-possible service. That’s the type of service we’ve all come to expect nowadays, especially from our favorite websites. If something takes a minute too long to load, you can bet I’m moving on to the next best thing faster than the time it takes to zap a Poptart in the microwave.

Fortunately for Facebook, they have the resources to grow with demand. The trick is keeping up with the pace. In the past six years, they’ve gone from a single server, to a suite of collocated servers, to renting out entire data centers, to finally laying the groundwork to build one of their own.

The site is Prineville, Oregon, and the projected completion date for the Facebook data center is early 2011.

Facebook Oregon Datacenter

Why Oregon? Well, in addition to some tax incentives, chilly Oregon weather is what makes it such an ideal locale. It takes much less energy to keep the server rooms cool during the Autumn/Winter months.

The weather conditions where we’re located are very similar to Oregon, except that Utah County is also located in one of the lowest ranked Disaster zones in the nation, a definite plus when you consider data security.

We’re also exploring the same energy-saving technologies that Facebook’s new data center will boast:

  • Evaporative cooling systems
  • Airside economizers
  • Re-use of server heat
  • And UPS systems with higher efficiency rates

All of these elements will not only reduce costs, but will also eliminate wasteful energy consumption in a meaningful way.