Under Water Data Center
It is often said that the third world war will occur because of water. Water is the most important part of planet Earth. Water maintains the ecological cycle of the Earth as well as has numerous underwater species and creatures. For Microsoft, water is even more important because they think that they have found a way to cut high energy costs by cooling data centers. So how is that possible? Well, by putting the data centers under water.
The experimental days
Microsoft initially built a prototype and this concept was tried out by placing this prototype data center pod inside water. The data center was put 30 feet under water, off the coast of San Luis Obispo, California. They ran it for 105 days. So now Microsoft believes that the future of data centers lies under the sea, the reason being, they are able to cut the major cost of data center cooling which is air conditioning.
Why Data Center’s are Important
Data center itself suggests that all the data is collected and processed in data centers. From streaming video to email, from social networking to e-commerce, everything is stored in data centers. These data centers have thousands of servers which generate lots of heat. A server crashes when there is too much heat.
What are the other benefits of keeping data center under water?
Microsoft is planning to pair the system with some turbine or tidal energy, which captures the ocean current to generate electricity. Not only cooling, but Microsoft says that half of the population lives within 200 kilometers of the ocean, which makes under water data center system easier, faster and a reliable source.
All the current data centers are built in places where energy and land are cheap. They are not built at places where there is more population. The number of users accessing these data centers is increasing day by day, which means data centers will have more load. This will heat up the servers, so more air conditioning will be required to keep them cool.
Currently, data centers are built in such a way that they will need human interaction. Now, if we consider under water data centers, they don’t need internal maintenance by humans. So parts which are just built to aid human interaction can be removed, thus reducing the size of data centers.
Microsoft is still analyzing the environmental impacts of data centers under water. Data centers are loud and hot, this may definitely affect the ocean life. Also, ocean water is salty and may lead to corrosion. Not only that but worst case scenarios must also be considered. In any case, under water data centers must not affect underwater life.
One aspect of this concept is to save electricity, thus saving resources. The other aspect is, how will these data centers affect underwater life? There must be a feasible solution, which lies in between these two aspects. Surely, under water data centers have many advantages, but these advantages should not be gained by disturbing nature.
Currently, Microsoft has measured that there is no heating beyond certain inches from the under water data center vessel. If this is the case, then we may soon read about more data centers being implemented underwater.