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Underwater data centers: The revolution next

Posted on May 19, 2016

Data Center in water, this sound to be quite ridiculous as no healthy combination could be physically worked out between water and electronics. But Microsoft the Legacy technology giant is working on a cutting edge technology to pair up a cost effective combination of hosting data center under water. An appraisal on the overall data center cost, it is estimated that the power consumption for distribution and cooling of the system seems to be unreasonably high and it is valued to cover about 35% of the total cost of the system. In a simple analogic projection it could be interpreted as that a large data center with industrial scale operation require electricity as much as that required for a small township.

Recently, Microsoft was on with a wacky experiment of dumping servers in the ocean. The three month experiential operation at the coast of central California had a green signal at the first phase of technical setup. The architectural stack of the experiment include a server rack with power of about 300 PCs were inserted into a water tight steel container and immersed into the ocean. This would definitely turn out to be a wave of the future.

Interestingly, the underwater data centers could serve the solution for  two major issues – the immense power consumption and integrated cooling facility dealt with the normal data centers housed on land. As Microsoft claims that these data centers can use the ocean currents to power up its subsea servers which could cut down the power consumption costs, which where 20 to 35 percent of the overall cost dealt in a month. The ocean itself acts in keeping the data center at the minimal temperatures for operation with no added cost. As this resolves the two major issues faced by giant data centers this would be a major stride in the IT field, Microsoft also assures fast connectivity for the coastal residents to the ocean servers.

Moreover, it is studied that the total carbon footprint underwater is considerably low in comparison to land based centers. Added advantage of going under water also includes a shift from building of data centers with huge time bound construction and costly land usage to manufacturing jobs with minimal underwater space utilization. Now, considering the possible threats in connection with this movement, the most notable threat in this tech hype would be how it affects the marine life and what will be the environmental impacts of this movement.

Hopefully, there would be practical solutions for every issue, if everything goes in the right line definitely underwater data center will created a real revolution from what is happening today.

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