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Mozilla Builds a 1 Megawatt Data Center

By - Source: Mozilla | B 22 comments

Mozilla revealed that it has begun construction on a new data center in Silicon Valley.

The organization said that it will be openly documenting the process and share the experiences it makes with its community.

There are not a lot of details available at this time, except the fact that the data center will be located in Santa Clara and that it is designed for a total power consumption of 1 MW. In a blog post, Mozilla said that it is now operating six data centers, three of which are located in Silicon valley and consume about 455KW of power. "SCL3" will be joining two other data centers in Santa Clara as well as one in San Jose. Back in January 2010, Mozilla opened a site in Phoenix, Arizona. A data center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was switched on in 2006.

According to a blog post, sharing the information about building its data center may be beneficial as the organization believes it relates to "90 percent of the world", rather than the "1 percent" that may be interest in building monstrous sites that are similar to the extent of what Google or Facebook would plan.

Mozilla said that it intends to consolidate its data centers in Silicon Valley, but there was no information if or when that will happen.

Just how much is a megawatt? From Answers.com:

An average U.S. household uses about 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year. A watt is a unit of power, or energy per unit time, so it's the rate at which energy is being used. A kilowatt-hour (or 1000 watt-hours) is a unit of energy, so 10,000 kWh is how much total energy each household uses over the course of a year. 

This means that each household, on average, uses energy at a rate of about 1 kilowatt (1000 watts, which equal to ten 100-watt light bulbs). 

One megawatt is equal to one million watts, so for one instant, one megawatt can power 1000 homes. 

A better question to ask is how many homes can a megawatt-hour (MWh) provide with energy for one hour? If one home needs 1 kWh of energy for one hour, then 1 MWh of energy can sustain 1000 homes for one hour.
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  • 6 Hide
    polly the parrot , November 16, 2011 10:56 AM
    Cool.
  • 5 Hide
    huron , November 16, 2011 12:15 PM
    I realize that these datacenters are what drive the technology we use, but I'm always amazed at their size an power consumption.
  • 3 Hide
    nikorr , November 16, 2011 12:16 PM
    Not bad...
  • 6 Hide
    nikorr , November 16, 2011 12:16 PM
    For Mozilla : )
  • 6 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , November 16, 2011 12:56 PM
    polly the parrotCool.

    Actually very hot. =P
  • -2 Hide
    phishy714 , November 16, 2011 1:08 PM
    In a world that aches for effeciency and lower consumption of resources... why the hell is this good again?
  • 1 Hide
    STravis , November 16, 2011 1:21 PM
    Hmm...interesting. That still doesn't tell us anything about the capabilities of the facility.
  • 0 Hide
    bak0n , November 16, 2011 2:30 PM
    I worked at Genuity years ago, both a floor under MAE West and in Mountain View. Just because the facility says it will be a 1MW facility doesn't mean its going to use it. It solely means it is capable of using it.

    Our old data center ran an OC-192 backbone. However most of those fibers remained unlit because they weren't needed. They were there in hopes of future grow in fully managed mid/high level enterprise solutions. This will be much of the same.
  • 4 Hide
    that_tg , November 16, 2011 3:20 PM
    How does Mozilla earn money to build anything? What are the ads that I am missing? Sales to corporate customers?
  • 2 Hide
    STravis , November 16, 2011 4:01 PM
    that_tgHow does Mozilla earn money to build anything? What are the ads that I am missing? Sales to corporate customers?


    And - what does this data center (and the ones already in existence) do?
  • 2 Hide
    d_kuhn , November 16, 2011 4:38 PM
    1MW is decent sized but there are MUCH larger one's out there already. It's pretty rediculous how much energy tens of thousands of processors can suck up.
  • 2 Hide
    NapoleonDK , November 16, 2011 5:15 PM
    As a Data Center Technician in the Pacific Northwest, I'm shocked that antiquated facilities like this are still being built. They will never reach the power density or PUE/DCiE threshold they are aiming for. Aside from the Liebert DS CRAC units along the walls, this data hall looks like it was built at least 10 years ago. Raised floor/dropped ceiling layouts with perforated tiles always result in poor hot aisle/cold aisle isolation, and the Liebert DS units (with their single-speed centrifugal blowers) run at hog-wild inefficient fan speeds and overcompensate for bypass air with 150+ CFM/kW!

    For the record, modern energy star certified servers in eco-mode run at less than 80 CFM/kW with some equipment in the ~50 CFM/kW range. This leads to a deltaT of 39.5DegF @ 80CFM/kW or 57.5DegF @ 55 CFM/kW! A supply air temperature of 72DegF in the data hall could have exhaust temperatures at the rear of the server of nearly 130 degrees. The answer is not to DILUTE this exhaust air with excessive bypass and wasted fan energy, but to duct the hot server air directly back to the cooling unit with a variable-speed fan programmed to maintain a steady slight negative pressure in the ducting system. Data centers like these are the cancer that permeates modern high-performance computing.

    /Mozilla I am disappoint/ :pfff: 
  • 1 Hide
    RabidFace , November 16, 2011 8:14 PM
    Wonder how long before we see 1.21 Jiggawatts data centers? ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    southernshark , November 16, 2011 11:11 PM
    I suspect that in our lifetime we will see solar power plants built on the light side of the moon, with the energy being transferred to super computers on the dark side of the moon which use the natural freezing temperatures of that place to their advantage. The computer banks will be manned by robots of course.
  • 0 Hide
    Thunderfox , November 17, 2011 1:47 AM
    So what exactly does Mozilla do with datacenters? It's not like they have services like Gmail or a search engine to host, so what is all the storage and processing capacity used for?
  • 2 Hide
    dil , November 17, 2011 2:18 AM
    southernsharkI suspect that in our lifetime we will see solar power plants built on the light side of the moon, with the energy being transferred to super computers on the dark side of the moon which use the natural freezing temperatures of that place to their advantage. The computer banks will be manned by robots of course.


    quick.... go patent your idea. then sitback quietly till some one actually dose it so that you can sue them and collect monye....
  • 0 Hide
    aldaia , November 17, 2011 9:30 AM
    huronI realize that these datacenters are what drive the technology we use, but I'm always amazed at their size an power consumption.

    D_Kuhn1MW is decent sized but there are MUCH larger one's out there already. It's pretty rediculous how much energy tens of thousands of processors can suck up.

    As D_kuhn says this is a "small" data center. The K supercomputer needs about 12 MW. Facebook is building a 100++ MWatt datacenter.
    The massive power usage of data canters may be the reason behind the growing interests in ARM based servers.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 17, 2011 7:26 PM
    southern shark: does that mean that dark fiber will go to the Dark Side of the Moon? *snort guffaw*
  • 0 Hide
    mzeier , November 24, 2011 1:47 AM
    that_tgHow does Mozilla earn money to build anything? What are the ads that I am missing? Sales to corporate customers?


    Mostly from monetized search revenue - http://www.quora.com/How-does-Mozilla-earn-money .
  • 0 Hide
    mzeier , November 24, 2011 1:49 AM
    STravisAnd - what does this data center (and the ones already in existence) do?


    Mozilla's out of power at the ones already in existence. This lets us continue to expand and grow.
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