Facebook Shares Secret Design

April 29, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. innovative (adj.) [in-uh-vey-tiv] – something that is very advanced and original
Example: The innovative solution has never been done before.

2. customize (v.) [kuhs-tuh-mahyz] – to create or build something according to one’s personal needs or design
Example: I customized my computer to suit my business needs.

3. server (n.) [sur-ver]  – in computer technology, it is the main program or computer which processes data or information for other computers connected in a network.
Example: If the server breaks down, all computers in the company will be affected.

4. go the extra mile (idiom) [goh] [thuh] [ek-struh] [mahyl] – to do something more than what is expected
Example: Employees who go the extra mile are promoted to better position.

Read the text below.

Facebook plans to share the designs of their innovative data center to other companies to help the whole industry to save more money and be environment-friendly.

Data centers which contain the main servers of Internet companies consume a lot of electricity to run servers and keep them cool. Facebook the design of its data center, which uses 38% less power, to allow natural air to cool servers built for this kind of cooling system. By using natural air, the center consumes less energy and produces less carbon dioxide which harms the environment.

Customizing the data center also allows Facebook to easily make improvements in their website. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says most machines produced by other companies include parts they do not need. Having its own data center gives the company more control.

Facebook decided to share this design to benefit the entire Internet industry, especially starting companies. According to a company that manages data centers for smaller companies, an average data center spends $10m a year on electricity. Adapting Facebook’s design can bring down the cost to around 40% or $4m a year.

Furthermore, sharing the design will encourage more ideas to improve data centers in the future.

However, environmental group Greenpeace challenged Facebook to go the extra mile in saving the environment by using clean and renewable energy instead of coal and nuclear power.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 
Discussion A 

·         Why do most large companies consume a lot of energy like electricity?
·         What are the different ways a large company can save energy?

Discussion B

·         What are some possible reasons why most companies do not share the technology they use?
·       Do you think sharing design and technology to other companies has more advantages than disadvantages? Please explain your answer.

April 29, 2011