Facebook owns a lot of data, in fact more than anyone else. It’s estimated that Facebook houses 240 billion photos, with 350 million more being added every day. Where are all of these images kept?
In a data center of course! The issue is that you and I can access photographs taken years ago, this is set to change as it wastes a lot of energy. When did you last look way back through your time-line? Not recently, not many people do.
To save energy Facebook are investing in new data centers that allow ‘cold-storage’, this effectively means that not all content will be available instantly, it might take a few seconds to load.
Cold-storage systems use very low-power servers that ‘sleep’ most of the time. When an item stored on one of these machines is needed, it is woken by a master sever. The technology being used by Facebook should save them a lot of money, and a lot of energy. After all, 82% of traffic is focused on 8% of photos. The popular content will remain ‘active’ and older, less viewed images will be placed in cold-storage. [oregonlive]