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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Visiting Facebook's first data center

So many servers

Seeing blue

Lots of cables to carry all your likes

Facebook's first data center

More power for artifical intelligence research

Mobile Device Lab

Android testing at Facebook

iPhone testing at Facebook

Cold storage

Massive buildings

Backup power on site

A big fan for Facebook

Some of Facebook's biggest fans

Facebook has a lot of fans

From outside air to server cooling

Keeping the air clean

So many servers

Outside Building 1

At first blush, Facebook's data centers are just rows of blue and green servers.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

These servers were designed by Facebook, which said it focused on making them easy to cool and even easier to repair.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The data centers have lots of blue lights. Yes, Facebook's corporate color is blue, but it also just so happens that blue lights cost a half-cent less than other colors.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Aside from servers, there are also masses of data cables that carry some of Facebook's traffic through the facility.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The data center here in Prineville, Oregon, was Facebook's first when it opened in 2011. The company has built five more since in Sweden, Ireland, Iowa, Texas and North Carolina.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Facebook designed a special computer for artificial intelligence research called "Big Sur."

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Facebook has collected about 2,000 phones in its data center for testing its apps. Many of these phones are old by first-world standards, but they're what many people in the world can barely afford.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Developers also use these phones in an effort to spot dips in an app's performance.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Various versions and iterations of iPhones undergo testing at the Prineville facility.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The company has an 110,000 square-foot building -- called Building 4 -- that's designated as "cold storage." The servers here store older, less-used content in low-power servers, retrieving and transmitting your birthday photos and anniversary videos only when Facebook sees you digging back further into your archives.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

All your data requires a lot of storage, and that means big buildings. The data centers on the grounds here in Prineville cover close to 800,000 square feet.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Though Facebook wouldn't say how much energy the facility needs, it has about 84 megawatts worth of backup power on site. Here are some of the generators.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Here is one of the huge fans that helps to expel the heat generated by the data center servers.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Giant fans spin hot air out of a long corridor dedicated to cooling the data center.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A bank of fans pulls cooled air into another portion of the tiered forced-air cooling system.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Heated air emitted from the data center servers naturally rises up through the slatted vents on the right side of this image, where it is mixed with cooler outside air and pulled across the long hallway and through the filters before entering a second stage of cooling.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A closeup view of one of the filters in a bank of filters that makes up a wall of the data center cooling.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Fans hum through the massive building -- ah, the sounds of data transfer.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

This is the entrance to Building 1, Facebook's first data center building in its first data center.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
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