Mar 17 2020

Singapore Data Center: Building and Innovating From the Ground Up

By Meta Careers
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Nestled in Tanjong Kling, also known as the data center hub of Singapore, is the site for the Facebook company’s first data center in Asia Pacific. While Facebook has 15 data center locations across the globe, the facility in Singapore is a first-of-its kind development for the company. Announced in September 2018, the new data center has a multi-level design and utilizes innovative, hyper-efficient technology to accommodate Singapore’s limited land and resources. When completed, it is poised to be one of the most advanced and energy efficient data center facilities in the world.

What is the significance of the Facebook company’s Singapore data center to Asia? What exciting opportunities will there be when it’s built? We spoke to five of our leaders on the opportunities we’re creating and the innovation taking place behind the scenes. Here’s what they have to say!

Building for growth in Asia Pacific

="Yongsuk smiling under overhead lights"
“Over the past few years, I’ve overseen the development of the Facebook company’s Singapore data center—our first data center in Asia Pacific (APAC). This has been one of the greatest challenges and opportunities of my career. Approximately one-third of the world’s population lives in APAC, and Singapore is a technical hub for all of Southeast Asia. Building a data center that is much closer in proximity to the people who use Facebook apps and technologies in this region is extremely exciting.
Our approach to building the facility has been unique, from designing Facebook’s first multi-story data center to developing a new cooling system to withstand Singapore’s tropical climate. Even more, we’re solving problems at a bigger scale than most people have ever encountered before. This is a constant challenge for our data center and infrastructure teams, which are focused on creating a more seamless experience for the people who use Facebook apps and technologies. It’s been a thrilling experience so far, and this is just the beginning. Opening the Singapore data center will create a myriad of new opportunities to scale our services across the APAC region, grow our team, and continue building for the future.” —Yongsuk C., Director, Data Center Operations, Asia Pacific

Leveraging Singapore’s robust infrastructure and vibrant business community

="Tom, Infrastructure Data Centers Vice President, smiling in office corridor
“We led an extensive site selection effort to choose the location for the Asia Pacific data center. Singapore is a vibrant city with a bustling business community and robust infrastructure. We have a supportive network of community partners here, as well as a very talented and diverse pool of people working to solve meaningful problems.
Building the data center has created thousands of construction jobs and will require hundreds of operational jobs, as well. We’re pioneering cutting-edge technologies to run the facility, and we are looking for people with strong technical and engineering backgrounds to work on server operations, network operations, facility operations, and fiber optic cabling. Beyond the technical, we’re also looking for people who can support the facility, which encompasses everything from administrative and culinary roles to physical security.
I’ve worked on the Data Center team for the past 12 years, and what inspires me to go to work every day is the people. I always tell my team that we’re the physical infrastructure that enables Facebook’s software teams to develop amazing products and enables billions of people around the world to connect to them. Our work is critical, and every time we turn the corner, there’s an exciting new challenge for us to solve together.” —Tom F., Vice President, Infrastructure Data Centers

Rethinking design for the Facebook company’s first multi-story data center

="Data Center Design Architect Karen standing in front of colorfully designed wall"
“I’ve been involved in designing many Facebook data centers in the US and Europe over the last six years, and working on our 11-story data center in Singapore certainly gave me the opportunity to problem-solve and design an efficient mission-critical building at such a large scale.
To conserve land, our team of electrical, mechanical, telecom, and building controls engineers developed a vertical design on a mere 12 acres of land. While traditional cooling systems in Singapore consume more power because of the city’s year-round hot and humid climate, our team engineered state-of-the-art solutions to cool the servers and incorporated features to minimize the use of space, energy and water. Overcoming these challenges, without sacrificing design quality, has proven to be a huge highlight of my career.”—Karen W., Architect, Data Center Design
Learn more about the Singapore data center’s one-of-a-kind design here.

Leading innovation in building construction

Design aside, building the facility has also required creative thinking and innovative ideas.
="Alex, the Design Engineering and Construction Data Center Global Director standing in front of a brick wall"
“Given the unique multi-story design of the building, my team has had to think outside the box and change our traditional construction methods. The weather in Singapore is humid and tropical, so we’re using concrete instead of steel to prevent our materials from rusting. We also decided to build the complete structure first and then go back to build each floor and data center from the top down. With this approach, we can prevent any potential leaks from floors above that might affect one of our live equipment.
Overcoming these unprecedented construction challenges in different parts of the world without sacrificing safety and quality is incredibly rewarding. And we’re not done yet! We're looking for experienced people who can bring technical knowledge within mechanical, electrical, and networking fields to help us with the work we’re doing in our data centers. If you haven't experienced constructing a data center at this scale but really want to learn and have the ability to grasp some of these highly technical obstacles, we’d love to hear from you.” —Alex J., Global Director, Design, Engineering and Construction, Data Center

Creating unique opportunities for engineers

Successfully transforming forward-thinking designs, ideas, and plans into reality calls for a wide breadth of knowledge from our engineering teams, which include members from a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. For the Facebook company’s Singapore data center, one of these teams is Network Engineering, which is responsible for making sure our data centers and network infrastructure can support all Facebook apps and technologies. This means ensuring traffic between servers is seamless while also maintaining a reliable experience for the people who use our apps and services in the region.
="Kevin, a member of Network Engineering team at the Singapore data center"
“What’s most interesting about the Network Engineering team at Facebook is how it’s built. We have more than a dozen different types of engineers, ranging from network and security engineers to data scientists and analysts. We even have optical and marine engineers on the team. Diverse skillsets and backgrounds are invaluable when designing this technology and ensuring we have the network infrastructure to support Facebook apps and services. And, someone without the relevant engineering experience can still be a part of our team. Facebook offers a rotational engineering program where newer graduates can rotate through different teams for about a year and then pick a team they’d like to join based on their interests and experience.
We all get to work on special and difficult engineering projects, and because we’re building a network specific to Facebook Products, we’re solving problems that haven’t existed before. The culture at Facebook gives us the freedom to approach challenges as we see fit, which I've never experienced elsewhere as an engineer.” —Kevin S., Network Investments Director
The Singapore data center is an exciting new frontier for the Facebook company. There’s a big opportunity to bring greater connectivity, create new jobs, and develop technologies that push the envelope in sustainability. There’s a lot to be done, and we’re just getting started.

We're hiring!

We’re looking for people with strong technical experience to help build out Facebook’s Singapore data center operations workforce, from network and server engineers to mechanical and electrical engineers with experience in operating critical facilities. If you love being challenged and are looking to solve big problems that are undefined and drive impact, come join us!

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