Originally posted to Data Center Frontier by Rich Miller.

mobile_device_lab_rackTo scale up its Mobile Device Lab, Facebook built custom racks to house 2,000 smartphones for application testing in its Prineville data center. Here’s a look at the design process for this offbeat challenge.

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – The call may have gone something like this:

HQ: “Hey, we need you guys to build a custom cabinet for us.”

Data Center: “OK. What kind of hardware will run inside this cabinet?”

HQ: “It’s a few dozen mobile phones.”

Data Center: “Wait. What?”

That conversation led to the creation of Facebook’s Mobile Device Lab at its huge data center complex in central Oregon. Facebook uses the lab to test drive revisions to its applications across up to 2,000 different types of smartphones, representing the diverse universe of technology found among Facebook’s 1.6 billion users.

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