Facebook To Move Your Old Photos Into ‘Cold Storage’


Facebook cold storage

In an effort to increase efficiency in terms of power and capacity, Facebook is planning on building a “cold storage” system for old photos uploaded to the social network.

There’s a lot of personal data on the network, so the plan is pretty sound. Before you flip out, Facebook’s “cold storage” system won’t delete your photos, it’ll just house and store them for future retrieval.

Facebook says that 82 percent of all traffic on their site concerns 8 percent of the images it stores, which is why they’re trying to figure out a way to keep all of your personal data there in a cheaper and more efficient manner.

The Oregonian reports that Facebook’s Prineville facility will operate three 16,000 square foot data hubs, which will hold an exabyte of data.

Electronista reports that existing data centers in Prineville actively provide service, but that’s not the point of Facebook’s “cold storage” plan. Instead, the servers will be in “hibernation,” to be turned on whenever old data is requested. Because some of your older photos will be moving to “sleeping” servers, that does mean that it’ll take an extra few seconds for such photos to load. But come on, how often do you look at your photos from 2007 anyway?

And in any case, the move is going to save Facebook quite a bit of coin. The “cold storage” center will cost roughly one-third less than other data centers, which used 71 million kilowatts of electricity during their first nine months in operation.

What do you think of Facebook’s plan to move old photos into “cold storage?”


Dusten Carlson
Dusten has written for web and print and currently spends his time working on his upcoming graphic novel. He is also almost 30 and still has all of his hair.

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