[slideshow]

Your Facebook profile doesn’t exist on your computer or in some nebulous cloud called “the Internet.”

It’s stored deep in the brick-and-mortar walls of real-world fortresses. It comes to life as electricity flows through wires that connect tens of thousands of servers to the grid.

And for some users some of the time, it lives among the wind and scrub brush of central Oregon, where Facebook has erected its first fully functioning data center in a town called Prineville.

The still-young company leases equipment and facilities at various locations, but the Prineville center is something special. Facebook designed and built this place from the ground up. More interestingly, it’s shared its customized hardware designs and super-efficient operational specs with anyone who wants to see them.

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon poking our nose around Facebook’s Prineville data center. We’ll have a longer video tour of the place posted soon, but we wanted to share the images from the trip as soon as possible.

Enjoy the data center porn, and be sure to read up on why Facebook thought open-source hardware was so important in the first place.

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