• Richard

The Future of The Cloud - in the Ocean?

With the trend towards cloud computing continuing at breakneck pace, the ever-increasing energy requirements of data centres is a major concern for environmentalists. It is in the interests of major players in this sector such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, as well as the public in general, to realise efficiencies wherever possible. One uniquely innovative approach we covered in an article over 2 years ago was to trial the placement of computing ‘cells’ underwater (read more here).

Rows of servers were placed in a cylinder submerged for a sufficient period to obtain useful data for analysis. Oxygen was entirely removed from the environment and humidity was strictly controlled.

Conventional Data Centre

The results?

First indications are promising, with significantly reduced costs for cooling. In addition, with the removal of human contaminants and sources of corrosion, a component failure rate of less than 15 per cent of an identical module on land was found.

Project Natick Module. Credit Microsoft.

It turns out the future of the cloud be found under the waves. While the signs are good, the challenge will be scaling up while ensuring minimal disturbance to marine ecosystems in conjunction with economic viability.

Find out more: https://natick.research.microsoft.com/


Image Copyright Microsoft. Shown under Fair Use. Original: https://natick.research.microsoft.com/