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LinkedIn Goes Hyperscale in Data Center


March 30, 2016

Hyperscale data center technology is increasingly the technology of choice for big cloud firms that need optimal data center performance for their massive server workloads, and we now can add LinkedIn to the list of companies using the technology.

While data centers have grown like wildfire thanks in part to commodity hardware, the demand for ever-greater computing performance has now tipped the needle back over toward the custom end of the spectrum; big firms such as Facebook and Google now find that it is more economical to build custom server setups for maximum density and reduced energy use.

LinkedIn is going in the hyperscale direction with its latest data center, which is located in Hillsboro, Ore. Just outside of Portland. The data center features custom electrical and mechanical design, as well as custom network switches.

The switches are one of the biggest parts of the new data center transformation. LinkedIn has designed its own 100 Gigabit switches and a scale-out data center network fabric for better performance. It went with 100G for future capacity needs, and currently splits the 100G into two 50G ports using the PSM4 optical interface standard. This is less expensive than using 40G optical interconnect, according to the company.

The data center, which is leased from Infomart Data Centers, features 96 servers per cabinet and uses just below 18kW of power per cabinet. The cooling design of the cabinet allows for densities up to 32 kW per rack, however.

For cooling at that density, LinkedIn is using heat-conducting doors on every cabinet. Each cabinet acts as its own contained ecosystem, too, so there are no hot and cold aisles as in a typical data center.

The company plans to roll out its hyperscale setup across all its data centers eventually, according to the company, although it will be a phased rollout.

LinkedIn has data centers in California, Texas, Virginia and Singapore.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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