Information wants to be free.
Datacenters, are growing at an exponential rate due to the ever growing needs of the information age. While storage continues to increase, meaning less servers for same data amount, the need for redundancy in the form of fail-overs, backups, etc. continue to increase. The loss of data in today’s business world can mean the end of a business so it is vital that data is backed up to the cloud.
Microsoft proposed the question, “50% of us live near the ocean, why doesn’t our data?” but why the ocean?
Microsoft has run a couple different long term tests with underwater datacenters under the project name of Natick. Through these tests they have determined a few benefits that underwater datacenters have over land based ones.
- Rapid provisioning: Able to deploy a datacenter at scale from start to finish in no more than 90 days.
- Enables rapid response to market demand.
- Latency: Latency is how long it takes data to travel between its source and destination. Half of the world’s population lives within 200 km of the ocean so placing datacenters offshore increases the proximity of the datacenter to the population, dramatically reducing latency and providing better responsiveness. Signals travel around 200 km/millisecond across the Internet, so if you are 200 km away one round trip to the datacenter takes about 2 milliseconds but if you are 4000 km away each round trip takes 40 milliseconds.
- For example, if you are playing a video game like Minecraft, latency would affect how fast the blocks you place show up in the game. Or if you are browsing the web, latency could affect how long it takes to completely paint a new webpage with lots of content. Modern television at 30 frames per second is just 33 milliseconds per frame. Some videogames exceed 100 frames per second or just 10 milliseconds per frame.
- Sustainability: We aspire to create a sustainable datacenter which leverages locally produced green energy, providing customers with additional options to meet their own sustainability requirements.
- Natick datacenters are envisioned to be fully recycled. Made from recycled material which in turn is recycled at the end of life of the datacenter.
- A Natick datacenter co-located with offshore renewable energy sources could be truly zero emission: no waste products, whether due to the power generation, computers, or human maintainers are emitted into the environment.
- We see this as an opportunity to field long-lived, resilient datacenters that operate “lights out” – nobody on site – with very high reliability for the entire life of the deployment, possibly as long as 10 years.
- Natick datacenters consume no water for cooling or any other purpose.
Once Microsoft demonstrated that this was a viable product South Korea and China have jumped on board, with China already in construction of a large underwater datacenter off their coast.
Aside from the evidence presented by Microsoft, other positive aspects that may present themselves are; increased security, lowered costs due to cooling, mobility, real estate costs, and more.
The future of datacenters is a focus on being green and sustainability. The ocean offers any company or organization an interesting option that could result in not only a more secure, rapidly deployed option, but one that also saves them money.
Our focus is to provide modular underwater datacenters. We believe a modular approach allows one to add to, or remove from, their data center to elongate the life of their business. With this approach not all rooms have to be filled with servers. There can be offices, battery backups, energy production, etc.
We welcome all inquires about our product. If you have any questions or feel this may be of interest to your organization please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The video below was taken from one of your regular livestreams.
Microsoft information in this article was used directly from their Natick website.