Servers and data centers, responsible for powering Internet companies like Google and Yahoo, are one of the nation’s fastest growing consumers of energy, according to the U.S. EPA.
Now Facebook wants the technology industry to make its data centers more energy efficient, with yesterday’s launch of its Open Compute Project. Under the new initiative, Facebook will share with other Internet companies the customized technology behind its new highly energy-efficient data center in Prineville, Ore.
Facebook’s first dedicated data center uses 38 percent less energy to do the same work as Facebook’s existing facilities, the company says. If a quarter of existing data centers in the U.S. met the same energy-efficiency standards, the resulting energy savings could power 160,000 homes.
Internet companies are typically secretive about their data centers’ designs and locations. But Facebook is releasing all technical specifications for the Prineville data center in the hopes the industry can collaborate to improve the efficiency of its servers and data centers.