Facebook gives its server racks a Tesla touch

Facebook gives its server racks a Tesla touch

It’s using lithium-ion batteries, like those in electric cars, to replace lead-acid batteries for backup power By James Niccolai | Published: 09:56, 14 November 2014 Facebook1Twitter1LinkedIn0Google Plus0Share This23Article comments Matt Corddry, Facebook’s director of hardware engineering, should be grateful to Tesla. Not because he drives one (he doesn’t), but because the popularity of its electric cars could help Facebook take a little more cost out of running its data centers. Corddry runs Facebook’s hardware engineering lab, which designs the cutting-edge servers, storage gear and other equipment that power its services. It shares those designs with the outside world through the Facebook-led Open Compute Project, and one of the technologies on his mind these days is lithium-ion batteries. Facebook has just started testing lithium-ion batteries as the backup power source for its server racks and plans to roll them out widely next year. Lithium-ion has been too expensive until now, Corddry says, but its use in electric cars has changed the economics. It’s now more cost effective than the bulky, lead-acid batteries widely used in data centers today. Related Articles on Techworld Huddle claims ‘Facebook at Work’ won’t be suitable for enterprise | Facebook gives users more ways to filter their feeds | Facebook work collaboration tool makes sense, but could be another distraction, analysts say | Facebook will be mostly video in 5 years, Zuckerberg says “The crossover moment for us was really electric cars, especially when Tesla and the [Nissan] Leaf and those guys took off,” Corddry said this week, as he showed a reporter around the hardware lab at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters. “The inflection point...