Peek inside Facebook's massive data centers that store all your photos, 'likes,' and chats

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If you open Facebook on your phone for 30 seconds, your activity likely touches over 1,000 servers.

Much of that "magic" happens in the social network's own massive data centers.

GALLERY: See the inside of the massive data center where Facebook stores everything

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Inside Facebook Data Centers
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Peek inside Facebook's massive data centers that store all your photos, 'likes,' and chats
Joel Kjellgren, Data Center Manager walks in one of the server rooms at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Signage stands outside the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Facebook Inc. flag flies next to a U.S. flag outside the company's Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Signage made up of individual faces is displayed inside the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The silhouette of an employee is seen standing in front of a cooling system that pulls air in from outside at the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee puts in a filter that protects against pollen, bugs, and dust from the outside air that is pulled in at the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee fixes part of a web server inside the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Joel Kjellgren, Data Center Manager opens a server in one of server rooms at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture taken with a fisheye lens shows a man walks past a big logo created from pictures of Facebook users worldwide in the company's Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands of servers are pictured at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture taken with a fisheye lens shows the Evaporator Room of the first server rooms in the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
The Relief Room of the first server rooms is pictured in the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Employees work at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Signage is reflected in a window at the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Joel Kjellgren, Data Center Manager shows a server in one of server rooms at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Luleaa, Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
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Since 2011, Facebook has built four centers in Oregon, Iowa, North Carolina, and Sweden with innovative, environmentally-conscious designs that it has made available to the public through its Open Compute Project.

In July, it began constructing a fifth in Fort Worth, Texas.

Take a peek inside those centers and see where all your Facebook data "lives."

From the outside, Facebook's data centers look like massive warehouses. Here's an aerial view of the 300,000 square-foot North Carolina location:

Facebook

But the building isn't all high-tech servers. Here's where employees sit:


Facebook

Thanks to its proprietary designs, Facebook has saved itself $2 billion in infrastructure costs since 2011.


Facebook

When you look at one of Facebook's old server racks compared to its new ones, the physical differences are immediately apparent.


Business Insider / Jillian D'Onfro


Facebook has custom-designed its servers and power supplies, including its UPS's, or "uninterruptible power sources," which provides emergency power if the main power fails. This is the inside of its data center in Lulea, Sweden.


Facebook

Here's a closer look at one of its open racks. The rack gets integrated into the center infrastructure. Facebook's "grid to gates" philosophy dictates the interdependence of "everything from the power grid to the gates in the chips on each motherboard."


Facebook

Facebook's goal is to make its centers as efficient as possible, which includes paying attention to little details, like eschewing the common practicing of putting plastic bezels in front of its servers. Removing the plastic allows the servers to draw in more air.


Facebook

Not that "efficient" means small. Its first Prineville, Oregon data center alone has 950 miles worth of wires and cables inside (that's roughly the distance between Boston and Indianapolis).


Facebook

Here's the outside of its first custom data center in Prineville, Oregon. It uses 38% less energy than Facebook's previous facilities, while costing 24% less.


Facebook

Which is great for Facebook, but also the planet.


Business Insider / Jillian D'Onfro

Because of the way servers are connected, technicians can easily find, remove, and fix failed components.


Alan Brandt

Each technician can zoom around the part of the data center they're responsible for with their portable diagnostic station


Facebook

As all its servers whir away, Facebook needs to prevent them from overheating. In its Swedish center, Facebook sucks air in from outside to cool its tens of thousands of servers.


Facebook

Cool air also flows through a series of air filters and a "misting chamber" where a fine spray helps to further control the temperature and humidity.


Facebook


Air hitting the severs can't be too cold either, though. Here's a "mixing room" where cold outdoor air combines with server exhaust heat to regulate the temperature.


Facebook

Facebook calls the area where all this happens the "cooling penthouse." The top half of each facility manages all the cooling, which takes advantage of the fact that cold air falls and hot air rises.


Facebook

So, next time you're on Facebook, try to visualize all your interactions passing through these data centers, where Facebook's servers process more than 10 *trillion* queries a day.


Facebook

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