Published on March 6th, 2012 | by James Johnson0
Facebook Server Patent Uses Air Pressure For Software Management, Server Cost Reduction
Facebook is hoping to use new air pressure technology that will allow the social network to move software workloads between various servers based on air pressure that is monitored on each side of a machine.
Currently highlighted in a Facebook patent that was filed in 2010 by Facebook engineers Amir Michael and Michael Paleczny the technology describes a load balancer that shifts tasks between servers based on “cooling needs” are are monitored by air pressure.
The goal is to allow servers to continually operate at the highest temperatures possibly without failing and then to shift data based on cooling needs.
By increasing temperature levels to their maximum Facebook can save on cooling costs and since the company’s biggest expense is data management it could means millions in annual savings.
It’s still not clear if Facebook is already using the new air pressure based system but the idea of smarter cooling systems is part of a larger trend being utilized by hosting and private company’s around the world.
According to reports the new Facebook system is meant to be utilized in data centers that cool server racks by placing them in a “cols aisle” and a “hot aisle.” The difference in pressure between the two aisles created air form the cold aisles to move to the servers in the hot aisles.
When air is pushed into the hot aisle it is then expelled from the data center, allowing servers to run without crashing from overheating scenarios.
There’s more to the process than explained above but the bottom line is that the technology was created to implement smarter server technology in an effort to drive down prices and with a Facebook IPO only months away any cost saving measures that are enacted are surely welcomed.
In the meantime Facebook continues to build better, more efficient ways to deal with server expenses, as does all of their major competitors in the space.