A single page on a social-networking website is an amalgam of many different technologies. Each user is served a unique page assembled from up-to-the-second information from multiple sources. During assembly, attention must be paid to each user’s personal preferences, the privacy settings of the user’s friends (and friends of friends), and the advertisements that seem most likely to find a favorable reception (see “Managing Users by the Million”). Here we show some of the hardware and software required to support key elements of a typical page belonging to one of Facebook’s 600 million active users.
The hardware depicted is largely located in the company’s new 31,000-square-meter data center in Prineville, Oregon. This facility uses evaporative cooling to control temperatures. Facebook claims that the cooling technology, together with a new electricity distribution system, has made the data center 38 percent more energy efficient than a traditional center, with operating costs about 24 percent lower.
Facebook has made the designs for the Prineville data center, and the customized servers within it, available to anyone—a decision that reflects in the physical sphere the social network’s heavy use of open-source projects in its software.
Image Credit: Bryan Christie Design
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024
Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.
Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.
Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.
AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.
What’s next for AI in 2024
Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.