Facebook announces fourth expansion to Altoona Data Center

Facebook Altoona

by Brice Towns, Altoona data center site manager
Used with permission from the Altoona Data Center Facebook page.

Just over a year ago, we announced our plans to expand the Altoona Data Center to three buildings. In that announcement, we spoke about the city of Altoona, state of Iowa, construction partners, and our employees all working at historic speeds and helping us scale. Today, it’s because of these partners and our employees that we can once again share our plans to build out our data center even further. But this time, with a cold storage facility.

Every day, nearly two billion photos are shared on Facebook services, and these photos can reflect important memories. We discovered a way to preserve these memories in a sustainable and efficient way with a data center that functions like a digital attic, which we call cold storage. With cold storage, we can allow rarely-accessed photos from years past to be just as accessible as new and frequently-viewed photos.

Our first cold storage facility was built from the ground up in Prineville, Oregon, with servers that power on as needed. Altoona joins Prineville and Forest City as our third site with a cold storage facility. You can read more about the technology behind cold storage on code.fb.com.

This fourth expansion adds more than 100,000 square feet to our third building, extending the work for our construction teams who have worked onsite since 2013. These teams have put in 830,000 hours into building one, 760,000 hours into building two, nearly 840,000 hours into building three, and now in less than four months, we’ve already seen more than 7,500 hours on our cold storage facility.

Our appreciation goes out to the Altoona community and our employees for their continued support. We are proud to call Altoona our home.