Facebook's Planning a 'Cold Storage Centre' to Store Your Terrible Selfies for All of Time

By Chris Mills on at

Thought that, 20 years down the line, those uni pictures of you vomiting whilst dressed as a carrot were gonna be nothing but fond memories? Think again. Facebook never forgets. Mwhahahahahaha.

Given the biblical size of the crap-photo-deluge we're all guilty of uploading to Facebook (around 350 million photos are added every single day!), it's no surprise that the Great Book in the Sky is getting hard-pressed to store the 97 snaps of a five-year-old night out that still linger at the bottom of our timelines. The solution is something called 'cold storage'.

Essentially, 'cold storage' is a giant data centre in sleep mode. According to Facebook, 82 per cent of its traffic is focussed on just 8 per cent of photos, so the other 92 per cent aren't accessed all that frequently. As such, speed of access isn't a priority for those photos, and they can be kept in a 'cold storage' data centre that trades access speed for gains in physical size and power consumption.

This is achieved by having most of the computers in the data centre turned off or in a low-energy state, and only powering them up if a particular photo needs to be accessed.

Zuckerberg's engineers reckon that a cold storage centre would cost one-third less than a conventional data centre. Given that the only trade-off is a minor decrease in access speed for the user, it's a reasonable solution. Unfortunately for you and me, it means that Facebook's going to be keeping the dirt on your for a while to come. [Oregon Live]