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Facebook developing low-powered emergency backup system in new 'Sub-Zero' building

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Facebook will be using a new facility in Prineville, Oregon to test and develop a low-powered backup data system.

facebook sub zero building
facebook sub zero building

Facebook will be using a 62,000-square-foot building — unofficially known as "Sub-Zero" — next to its Prineville, Oregon data center to test and implement a new low-powered storage system. Tom Furlong, vice president of site operations for Facebook, told Wired that the deep-storage device will be in development for the next six to nine months. Currently, the social network's servers consume around 4.5 kilowatts, but the new approach hopes to reduce it to roughly 1.5 kilowatts. The data center will remain largely inactive and will act as a safeguard in the case of emergency where the whole system would need to be restored.

This won't be Facebook's first attempt at cutting down energy consumption at its Prineville location, as the company currently uses giant solar farms to power the facility's lighting system. Additionally, its recently-built data center in Forest City, North Carolina is equipped with an air cooling system that utilizes the ambient atmospheric temperature to keep the servers cool. Facebook intends to construct another "Sub-Zero" building next to its North Carolina data center in the future, just in case its energy-efficient backup system needs a backup.