CORK, Ireland — Facebook will open its second data center outside of the U.S., and its sixth overall, in Ireland with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying it will be one of the "most advanced and energy efficient data centers in the world."
Clonee is a small village just outside Dublin and a 30-minute drive from the company's international headquarters in the city. The center, which will cost 200 million euros ($215 million) and employee 2,000 people during its construction phase, will become operational in early 2018.
Facebook’s latest data center will cover 31,000 sq. meters and the company already has planning permission for a second building on the site, though it is unclear when or if Facebook will begin construction on that.
Announcing the new project on Facebook, Zuckerberg said: "Clonee Data Center will be one of the most advanced and energy efficient data centers in the world. It will feature the latest server, storage and network designs developed through the Open Compute Project, and will be powered by 100% renewable energy." The renewable energy in this case will be wind.
The Open Compute Project is a nonprofit initiative developed by Facebook to open source the design of data centers to make them more efficient and includes companies like Microsoft, Apple, Cisco and Bank of America.
Zuckerberg said the data center would be cooled using outside air, but as Clonee is close to the Irish Sea, the company will have to use an indirect method which will filter any salt out of the air first before it is used. "We’re glad to be investing in Ireland, to become a part of the Clonee community, and to continue building the massive infrastructure that connects our global community," Zuckerberg added.
Facebook's first non-U.S. data center was opened in 2013 in Lulea, Sweden. Facebook already has three U.S. data centers (Altoona, Iowa; Forest City, North Carolina; Prineville, Oregon) and is building a fourth in Fort Worth, Texas. It had been speculated that Facebook's next data center would be built in Asia, but considering that Europe brings in twice the revenue of Asia, it makes sense that the company would continue to invest there.