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426 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 213928 19-Apr-2017 13:43
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You may have seen several article about Microsoft's experimental undersea data centres.

Here's a recent summary of IEEE's "Dunking the Data Center"

http://www.leverege.com/blog/project-natick-underwater-data-centers



"To take advantage of freely available cool air, we’ve seen Google open a data center in Finland and Facebook open a data center in a Swedish city near the Arctic Circle. Now Microsoft wants to build one underwater to follow suit. Not only do they argue that this plan is feasible, they think it could also “reduce construction costs, make it easier to power these facilities with renewable energy, and even improve their performance,” according to Sean James, a Microsoft engineer.

Before validating James’s claims, putting a data center underwater comes with a myriad of challenges:

1. The container must stay dry.

2. Sea water should cool the servers efficiently.

3. Containers must be free from barnacles and other sea life that may inhibit the cooling process.

Why go through all this trouble to build something underwater, when you can build it in Finland or Sweden like the other tech giants? To this end, James postulates several advantages other than the cooling factor.

First of all, the Microsoft team argues that building underwater pods avoids the hassle that comes with constructing data centers on land. Today, companies must deal with building codes, taxes, electricity supply, and network connectivity in other countries before putting in the rack of servers.

On the other hand, the ocean provides a relatively uniform environment for these underwater pods. These pods can be made almost on demand (instead of planning it out and negotiating with governments and land owners long before) and deploy at any coastal site with little customization. Microsoft’s goal is to deploy these pods within 90 days from purchase.

Microsoft also points to the the remote locations of these data centers as a limitation in how fast these servers can respond to requests. They cite that almost half the world’s pouplation lives within 100 kms of the ocean, concluding that bringing these pods closer to where we live will add speed benefits.

Lastly, Microsoft mentions that many data centers use evaporation to cool the surrounding air, consuming more water. In Microsoft’s case, they’ll be using surrounding water to transfer the heat from the air out, so will not be “consuming” water in a non-renewable manner. Even at intermediate depths between 10–200m, the water remains between 14–18 °C, making it an ideal environment for cooling data centers."

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5139 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1767328 19-Apr-2017 13:55
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A lot of variables involved here.
Id be interested on how they would get a physical connection to these devices? Maybe have them in a web sort of layout?

 

 

I suppose submerged deeply you are not affected by swell?

What happens if some Pirate drops his anchor and it takes one of these out?






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  Reply # 1767340 19-Apr-2017 14:04
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Lastly, Microsoft mentions that many data centers use evaporation to cool the surrounding air, consuming more water.

 

which will then come back down as rain ... not a big issue IMO unless they are storing vast quantities of water and keeping it out of the cycle (as certain crops, etc do)


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1767341 19-Apr-2017 14:05
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ubergeeknz:

 

Lastly, Microsoft mentions that many data centers use evaporation to cool the surrounding air, consuming more water.

 

which will then come back down as rain ... not a big issue IMO unless they are storing vast quantities of water and keeping it out of the cycle (as certain crops, etc do)

 

 

 

 

If you release water vapor under water by the time it almost surfaces would it have cooled back into its watery state?






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  Reply # 1767344 19-Apr-2017 14:12
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Cool! I need to know the price tag please. NZ probably is the best place to do this.

When the war broke out, I can still stream my movie collection from there. It has to be deep enough so thay the north korean sub will miss it.

I really hope they are looking into this.





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1767383 19-Apr-2017 14:44
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Another creative way of avoiding taxes


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  Reply # 1767388 19-Apr-2017 14:51
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Be good if one can store data in hydrogen molecules

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  Reply # 1767414 19-Apr-2017 15:47
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nakedmolerat: Cool! I need to know the price tag please. NZ probably is the best place to do this.

When the war broke out, I can still stream my movie collection from there. It has to be deep enough so thay the north korean sub will miss it.

I really hope they are looking into this.

 

 

 

Lake Taupo! Goodluck kim jong un sung ill phil!






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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1767432 19-Apr-2017 16:30
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About time is all I can say.





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  Reply # 1767441 19-Apr-2017 16:34
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Dulouz:

 

About time is all I can say.

 

 

 

 

Im interested as to why you say its about time? 






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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1767443 19-Apr-2017 16:37
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TimA:

 

 

 

Im interested as to why you say its about time? 

 

 

I've just been really looking forward to this development.





Amanon

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  Reply # 1767446 19-Apr-2017 16:39
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I didn't read the article, but where does the power come from?


Amanzi
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  Reply # 1767448 19-Apr-2017 16:42
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amanzi:

 

I didn't read the article, but where does the power come from?

 

 

 

 

Found the answer to my own question... From here: http://natick.research.microsoft.com/

 

How will underwater datacenters be powered?

 

Project Natick’s Leona Philpot was powered by the land-based power grid during the 2015 deployment. It’s still early days yet, but we envision that future subsea datacenters will be powered by renewable marine energy sources such as offshore wind, wave, tide, or current.

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  Reply # 1767455 19-Apr-2017 16:52
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amanzi:

 

amanzi:

 

I didn't read the article, but where does the power come from?

 

 

 

 

Found the answer to my own question... From here: http://natick.research.microsoft.com/

 

How will underwater datacenters be powered? Project Natick’s Leona Philpot was powered by the land-based power grid during the 2015 deployment. It’s still early days yet, but we envision that future subsea datacenters will be powered by renewable marine energy sources such as offshore wind, wave, tide, or current.

 

 

 

Thanks for the link!
Shot of the Natick Team. From left to right: Eric Peterson, Spencer Fowers, Norm Whitaker, Ben Cutler, Jeff Kramer

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the above picture, I see radiators! Id hate to see what happens when they get clogged up with sealife and barnacles.

 

Power via Submarine cable? Must be fun working on power cables under water. What happens if one part of the grid gets damaged? 

 

In this case it seems your best friend (Water) is also your worst enemy. 






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  Reply # 1767647 20-Apr-2017 00:01
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Feels like a publicity stunt to show the world that Microsoft is still innovative and hip like Google and Facebook. Didn't Google have a barge data centre or something a few years? That seemed to disappear into the ether pretty quickly once the PR had died down. Taking bets on the first company to announce a data centre in space (no DMCA up there....).


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1767703 20-Apr-2017 09:02
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just buy up old oil rigs and pump the cold water from below





 

$5USD 1GB RAM, 10GB SSD VPS in SYD

 

These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of MiIT Ltd.

Feel free to contact me for Quotes on DELL hardware, UFB, VoIP, North Shore Colo, or for a Quote on your project.


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