The Internet’s Next Great Power Suck

(The Atlantic) In Facebook’s youth, most of the website was powered out of a single building in Prineville, Oregon. That data center, holding row upon row of refrigerator-size racks of servers filled with rows of silicon chips, consumed huge amounts of electricity, outstripping the yearly power usage of more than 6,000 American homes. One day in the summer of 2011, as reported in The Register, a Facebook exec received an alarming call: “There’s a cloud in the data center … inside.” Following an equipment malfunction, the building had become so hot and humid from all the electricity that actual rain, from a literal cloud, briefly drenched the digital one.

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