Microsoft Building Underwater Data Centers?

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

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    While the idea is pretty neat, what happens when a drive goes bad? Imagine what it would cost to pull that entire unit for maintenance. :eek:
     
  2. Mr34727

    Mr34727 2[H]4U

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  3. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    I didn't read the article but it is possible there are redundant drives on standby to auto-switch into.
     
  4. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    I can't see this as a long term solution because of the corrosive nature of salt water.
    If there is a hull breech; kiss it all goodbye.
     
  5. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    There might also be a built in bot that swaps drives automatically.
     
  6. DukenukemX

    DukenukemX [H]ardness Supreme

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    Just build a SeaLab.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    This doesn't make a lick of sense to me.
     
  8. Carouselambra

    Carouselambra Gawd

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    "How long is it designed to last down there?
    A Natick datacenter deployment is intended to last up to 5 years, which is the anticipated lifespan of the computers contained within. After each 5-year deployment cycle, the datacenter would be retrieved, reloaded with new computers, and redeployed. The target lifespan of a Natick datacenter is at least 20 years. After that, the datacenter is designed to be retrieved and recycled. "
     
  9. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Interesting idea for them to try out as part of their research team. I am just not sure how reasonable this will be for what they have planned. Is it really faster / easier to drop these into the water and get fiber ran to them vs building a data center and having fiber ran to that. Or finding a old building that you can turn into a datacenter and run fiber to that.

    What do you mean by long term?

    Project's plan is every 5 years you pull it out and replace all hardware inside. Then after 4 trips down you recycle the unit and replace it. So every 5 years they could replace whatever needs fixed up on the outside also. meaning new paint job real quick or whatever. That said, subs and boats last 20 years so this should also.
     
  10. cbutters

    cbutters Gawd

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    I found this gem from their website:

    How would a Natick datacenter impact the environment?
    Natick datacenters consume no water for cooling or any other purpose.

    Then what is the point? If it isn't even going to leverage the temperature of the water, what is the point of putting it in the ocean? security?

    Unless they are just lying, and arent calling the fact that a large metal container in the ocean is going to act as one big heat exchanger.
     
  11. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    Isn't this NSA's wet dream? (pun intended)
    Put computers and storage on major internet trunks?
     
  12. Derfnofred

    Derfnofred Gawd

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    It's like no one ever builds very technically challenging pieces of equipment that are designed for long-term marine exposure... :rolleyes:

    Would be triply cool if used near large off-shore wind installations. (Provided backup power/etc).

    I'd be surprised if these would be used in mature markets, but rather rapidly emerging population centers where the infrastructure is otherwise not there.
     
  13. Parja

    Parja [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The point is, these modules aren't taking the water in. Of course the hulls are going to be passive heat exchangers.
     
  14. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardness Supreme

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    Actually reading a description on another site (I couldn't load the link from work) this doesn't sound that bad ... it is basically a way to provide data services to cities near the ocean without the expense of buying land based facilities ... if it is able to generate its own power or sustain itself then this could be much cheaper than building local land based facilities (where you inherit land costs, labor, electricity, etc) ... similar economic calculations have driven Google and Facebook to look at air based solutions (clouds in the clouds :) ) ... will be interesting to see if MS can make this into a viable option
     
  15. GaryJohnson

    GaryJohnson [H]ard|Gawd

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    If I were a malevolent rogue AI... which I'm not btw... this is the exact kind of thing I would want to hide out in.
     
  16. webdev511

    webdev511 Limp Gawd

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    Correct, it's the same situation as a data center in a shipping container. Lots of redundant hardware is already built in and when failures hit a predetermined threshold, a new container is brought in, data cloned and old container sent in for refurbishment.
     
  17. Skripka

    Skripka [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Dodging taxes.
     
  18. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    They said it's because it puts it closer to most people. Right now, data centers, I suspect, are in areas with low population density. Putting a data center, for example, in NYC, would be insanely expensive. Dropping it in the ocean is probably cheaper than buying property near Manhattan
     
  19. andrewaggb

    andrewaggb Limp Gawd

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    My first thought was this is a terrible idea...

    But it might make sense. prime real estate is hard to come by and expensive. If these can be reasonably deployed and mass produced (relatively), then maybe the total cost of ownership is lower. It should make it easy for them to deploy DC's in many different countries, fulfilling government requirements to keep data local and whatnot.

    Guess we'll see.
     
  20. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    They're going to have a huge problem with splicers down there.
     
  21. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Pod Six is jerks!!!
     
  22. amddragonpc

    amddragonpc [H]ard|Gawd

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    The board of directors of Microsoft needs to check if the CEO is even "in".
     
  23. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Using a body of water for heat disposal from a sealed water cooling loop makes sense. Running a server underwater does not.
     
  24. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is actually pretty cool. It's a sealed, water cooled floating server you can run offshore anywhere.
     
  25. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So.. in a few years we could have all datacenters at the bottom of the ocean.

    Then in a nice, easily hidden attack, they could all be taken out in one fell swoop by some other country or even just a few "terrorists".

    Seems legit.
     
  26. ryuen

    ryuen Limp Gawd

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    Actually the majority of the worlds datacenters are in or near major cities, it seems the exception to the rule are the huge facilities built by certain internet companies (for the incentives) or by government agencies/military (who value more remote locations for security).
     
  27. PigLover

    PigLover [H]ard|Gawd

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    Think of the tax implications if you can put them far enough offshore to be in international waters.
     
  28. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    And then think of the lack of protection they'll have as a byproduct. Gotta set up some mines around them. :D
     
  29. Krab

    Krab Limp Gawd

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    The NSA has already done that. You missed the boat(pun intended)by a few decades.
     
  30. dangerouseddy

    dangerouseddy Gawd

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    a few rogue anchors and they wouldn't be in good shape.
     
  31. Kibbles

    Kibbles 2[H]4U

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    Salt,salt,salt....did I mention salt?
     
  32. bigstusexy

    bigstusexy 2[H]4U

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    I didn't read the article but I'd think they'd do it the way they do the container Datacenters, which is that each unit isn't ran at full capacity and systems fail over to other systems. When there is too much failure then the container is pulled and replaced.