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Mark Zuckerberg shares pictures from Facebook's cold, cold data center

Mark Zuckerberg shares pictures from Facebook's cold, cold data center

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Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook

Keeping the internet cool isn't easy, and the energy consumption of data centers always been a headache for tech companies. Different firms have tried to solve this problem in different way, with Google using its AI expertise to trim costs, while Microsoft has even been exploring the possibility of underwater data centers. For Facebook, though, the solution was simpler: move to a cold country.

The social network established its Luleå data center in northern Sweden (just 70 miles south of the Arctic Circle) years ago, but it's obviously still a source of pride for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Yesterday, the Facebook founder shared a dozen pictures from the site, saying he wanted to show off "some rare photos of the most advanced technology Facebook is building around the world." You can take a look at some below:

"I love this shot because it looks like a sci fi movie," writes Zuckerberg. He's right, although it certainly doesn't look like a particularly happy sci-fi movie — more of a dystopia.
A picture of data center technician Emilie De Clercq, with a strong 'Madonna & Child' vibe to it.
Equipment in the center is "reduced to its basics" to run faster, with old hard drives destroyed on site to protect users' privacy.

This may be advanced tech, but the most charitable description of the Luleå data center is "stark," especially compared to the colorful pipes found among Google's server racks. It looks like the cold has seeped into everything, with gray and blue dominating the images.

Still, there's no denying that data centers like these are the engines of the new, digital economy. They may be deathly quiet compared to older icons of industry — the factories of the 19th century, for example — but in decades to come, their minimalist aesthetic may prove to be just as defining.

You can check out more pictures from Luleå below: