finally! facebook & its 30,000 servers

ive been wanting to re-post this story for a while, but it had been down. now it’s back up again!

facebook (php) is not very kopenhagen: excerpt below

Recently, Facebook provided us some information on their server park. They use about 30000 servers, and not surprisingly, most of them are running the PHP code to generate pages full of social info for their users.

We do not yet know what the outcome (if any!) of Kopenhagen will be, but what do these 30000 servers mean in terms of CO2? And what would be the impact of a more sane language instead of PHP?

Since an average server consumes about 200 Watt [1], and with an average SI EER (Site Infrastructure Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 2 [1] this translates to around 400 Watt including cooling and other overhead. In the USA, an average of 560 grams CO2 is emitted per generated Killo Watt hour [2], and this brings us to a total CO2 emission by the Facebook server park of about 59 000 ton of CO2 per year.

To put this number in perspective: The entire CO2 emission of the USA is 5 752 289 000 ton of CO2 per year and 66 693 000 ton for Finland [3]. So, this server park emits an amount of CO2 that is about 1/1000 of the total of CO2 emissions by Finland. I would argue that is not quite negligible.


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