If you walk into the lobby of the data center Facebook operates in the high desert in Prineville, Oregon, you’ll find a flatscreen display on the wall where you can check the pulse of this massive computing facility.
The display tracks the efficiency of the operation, which spans 333,400-square feet and tens of thousands of computer servers. Facebook built this data center in an effort to significantly reduce the power and dollars needed to serve up the world’s most popular social network, and — driven by CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s deep-seeded belief in the free exchange of ideas — the company aims to push the computing world in a similar direction. The display — which shows much the same information Facebook engineers use to monitor the facility — is an advertisement for the Facebook way.
Now, the company is taking this idea a step further. On Thursday, Facebook uncloaked a pair of web services that let anyone in the world track the efficiency of the Prineville data center and its sister facilityin Forest City, North Carolina. “We’re pulling back the curtain to share some of the same information that our data center technicians view every day,” Facebook’s Lyrica McTiernan said in a blog post. “We think it’s important to demystify data centers and share more about what our operations really look like.”