Facebook to Store Your Seldom-Used Posts in 'Cold Storage'

By Tracey E. Schelmetic February 21, 2013

If you have a Facebook account – like one billion people on Planet Earth do – chances are, you post photos to your account: baby pictures, embarrassing college photos, vacation snaps and the odd nature or wildlife shot. While you may not even remember what photos you’ve posted to your page, Facebook does. And the company’s battalions of servers are getting a bit more crowded every day.

According to Facebook, about 82 percent of its traffic is focused on just eight percent of its photos, which means that 92 percent of the photos posted to the site are simply languishing, seldom visited or commented upon. Those are a lot of photos to store, and for Facebook, which prides itself on its green data centers, they are becoming a bit of a problem.

To resolve the issue, the company is reportedly flirting with a more efficient storage system at its Prineville, Oregon data center. Called “cold storage,” it will store archival posts that are seldom accessed, but still expected to be available to users, Oregon Live is reporting this week. The company will soon begin work on the creation of three 16,000-square-foot data hubs that will hold an exabyte of data, or one quintillion bytes: nearly half of the world's entire technological capacity to store information in 1986. (Or about one million PC hard drives.)

Unlike the servers that hold Facebook’s active material, these servers will spend most of their time “asleep,” with only a few alert and ready to wake the servers that can deliver old data. Facebook says there might be a short delay experienced by users retrieving this old material, but it will be largely imperceptible.

“The principle will be so that it doesn’t impact the user experience – so think about a matter of seconds, or milliseconds,” said Michael Kirkland, a Facebook communication manager.

The benefit of this is energy use. Keeping servers active all day to serve material that is seldom requested wastes energy and runs costs up. This facility will be five times more energy efficient than a “warm” data center and will cost one-third less to run.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Cortana/Siri vs. Alexa & The Road To Robotic Post Smartphone Era

By: Rob Enderle    5/3/2016

Last week Microsoft made it clear that Cortana would only work with Microsoft's browser and search products making people question its cross platform …

Read More

Looking For The Next iPod/Echo

By: Rob Enderle    4/29/2016

The Amazon Echo, not the Apple Watch, became the last iPod-like product largely because of a far more accessible price point, a more compelling name, …

Read More

Apple Needs Reset, Not Elon Musk

By: Doug Mohney    4/29/2016

Apple's 13 percent sales decline and subsequent stock price drop this week has lead to the usual crazy talk about how to "fix" the company. Vivek Wadh…

Read More

Is the Apple Bubble Finally Bursting?

By: Andrew Bindelglass    4/28/2016

Over the past 13 years, Apple has been one of the most successful companies in the world of tech, posting sales growths in 51 straight quarters. That …

Read More

Shared-Space Providers (Airbnb) Poised to Beat Ride-Sharers (Uber)

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

Travel may be starting to make a bit of a comeback, as a new report suggests that shared-space providers like Airbnb and WeWork are on the rise.

Read More