Facebook Chooses Singapore for $1B Data Center | News & Opinion

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While it won’t be ready until 2022, it will create hundreds of jobs, run on 100 percent renewable energy, and be the first data center to take advantage of a new StatePoint Liquid Cooling system that promises a 50 percent reduction in water use.


Facebook announced today that it has decided the location for the company’s first data center in Asia will be Singapore.

A number of factors helped Facebook decide, not least of which was the World Bank’s recent naming of Singapore as the “number-one country in Asia to do business.” But what really grabbed the social network’s attention was the mix of robust infrastructure, existing communication lines, the local workforce, and help from both the Singapore Economic Development Board and the Jurong Town Corporation to make the project happen.

The end result is a 170,000 square-meter (1.8 million square feet) facility spread across 11 stories and built by Fortis Construction Inc. The investment required amounts to just over $1 billion and will in the process create hundreds of new jobs, not just during construction, but once the facility is operational.

As is the norm now with all new data centers, minimizing the environmental impact and ongoing costs of energy is key. Facebook is keen to create what it refers to as a “hyper-efficient facility.” That means limiting the use of water, energy, and land wherever possible, and partly accounts for why this will be a tall building rather than the more typical low and wide data centers we see in other locations such as the US.

Facebook says the Singapore Data Center will run on 100 percent renewable energy with solar playing a big part in that. It will also be the first data center to use a StatePoint Liquid Cooling (SPLC) system, which was developed in partnership with Nortek Air Solutions.

SPLC optimizes water and power consumption by switching between three modes based on the temperature and humidity outside the data center. The cooler the air, the less energy is required to cool down water which is then used to cool the servers inside the facility. During normal operation, it is expected to use 50 percent less water than more typical data center cooling systems.

This may be the first data center worth driving past. Typically, these building are just very large warehouse-like structures painted one color. However, the Facebook Singapore Data Center is different. The building facade is made of a perforated lightweight material to allow for airflow. The side-effect of that being you can see the equipment inside.

The new facility is expected to come online in 2022.

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