Facebook Doubles Size of Data Center Before It’s Even Built

Facebook said late Friday that it is adding 160,000 square feet to the 147,000 square-foot data center it’s currently building in Prineville, Ore. Being able to make such on-the-fly changes is part of why Facebook wants a wholly owned data center that it can manage and optimize at its whim. The company cited a need for more servers to accommodate its 500 million users.

Artist's rendering of planned Prineville, Ore. data center.

Facebook now says the data center, which was first announced in January (when Facebook had 350 million users), should open in the first quarter of 2011. The second phase is to be finished a year later. It doesn’t look like the new square footage will create any long-term jobs beyond the 35 Facebook already announced.

For more on Facebook’s approach to divvying up its infrastructure, see our interview with VP of Technical Operations Jonathan Heiliger from the Structure conference in June as well as the GigaOM Pro (sub req’d) analysis of the event.

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