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Facebook pushes for open sharing of data center technology

October 27, 2011 | 11:04 am

Facebook is looking to harness the brain power of other companies to drive more efficiency of data centers, which are energy hogs on the nation's power grid, the company said Thursday.

The Open Compute Project was first announced in April when Facebook opened up to the world its specs for building the data centers that deliver photos, videos and status updates to its more than 800 million users.

Now Facebook has started a foundation to encourage even more companies to share technology for data centers.

The foundation that Facebook announced in New York on Thursday has executives from Intel, Goldman Sachs and Rackspace Hosting.

"The best way to make ideas better is to share the ideas," said Frank Frankovsky, Facebook’s director of hardware design at the event, which was streamed to the Web.

Running energy-efficient data centers has become vital for Internet companies looking to save money and conserve energy and head off criticisms that they aren't doing enough to minimize the harm these centers can cause to the environment.

Mostly companies keep the details of these data centers under wraps. Google, for example, is secretive about the technology that powers its data centers.


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-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Engineer Lee Rodriguez monitors huge transformers at the Garland Center data center that would kick in during a power outage and keep the many computer servers in the building running. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times