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Unread 02-07-2016, 08:14 PM   #1
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Cowabunga! Your data's getting wet!

Microsoft is testing a new concept that could result in significantly lower costs for themselves (and, consequently, end users). How are they doing this? They're dumping your data into the ocean. Literally.

Okay, so maybe that paints an incorrect picture. They're testing submersible "data center" capsules that will basically sit on the bottom of the ocean. This may sound crazy and expensive, but let me explain why I think it's a brilliant idea.

In one word: cooling. The cost of cooling a data center is extraordinary. Computer hardware needs to stay within a certain temperature range or it will break. In recent years (particularly the past decade), companies with larger data centers (and many centers) have been calculating the cost differential between keeping components cool enough to last a long time and simply letting things break and hire people to replace them. For those who don't know, the optimal temperature for a server room is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that hardware will stay cool and last a long time. However, Google found that it is cheaper to keep their data centers closer to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and simply replace hardware more frequently. But still, keeping a data center even at 80 degrees can be very expensive.

There is where Microsoft's initiative could prove to be quite brilliant. They're putting data storage arrays in these beautiful submersible capsules and dropping them into the deep waters (which can get to be quite cold). They will be connected by chains and fiber-optic cables. This basically will work around the cost of cooling big data centers and could allow the company to maintain competitive costs for ever-increasing corporate and consumer storage needs. Additionally, it could allow storage to be kept closer to actual users (i.e. instead of someone in Alaska having to store their stuff on a server located in California, it could end up just being in the arctic ocean.)

On a personal note, I wonder how they'll be able to secure these from pirates and divers.

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Last edited by Ben Toast; 02-07-2016 at 08:28 PM.
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Unread 02-15-2016, 12:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ben Toast View Post

On a personal note, I wonder how they'll be able to secure these from pirates and divers.
I was wondering that as well--but if it's deep enough it deter some of them.
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