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Facebook Shares Data Center; Looks to Lead with Energy Efficiency

Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 4:06 PM ET

Facebook is all about sharing information with friends, and now it's applying that same approach to a wealth of information about its data management systems.

Facebook
Facebook

Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to introduce its "Open Compute Project" in which its releasing all the specifications for the data center it's building.

Zuckerberg explained his altruistic approach of wanting to help the rest of the industry make improvements. But sharing this information also should benefit Facebook by growing demand for products Facebook buys, which should push down prices.

But after seven years of leasing data centers Facebook has been working on its own data center in Oregon. Now it's showing off all the nitty gritty details of its investment of time and money in this project over the past year.

This gives Facebook an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to "going green," —its new servers are 38 percent more efficient and cost 24 percent less. Forrester Research analyst Rich Fichera commended Facebook for publishing all this information, as a way to create a new "ecosystem around these stripped down cost optimized servers."

Facebook presented this information in an event that's usually reserved for the launch of a new product on its social network. It's unprecedented for the company to devote this kind of public event to information about their infrastructure and back-end.

This speaks to the leadership role that Facebook wants to play in the tech community. The keyword here is OPEN. Just like Google's motto is "do no evil," being OPEN seems to be Facebook's driving principle.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.