Konkana Khaund's Blog

Underwater data centers...Microsoft's experimentation offers a new alternative

02 Feb 2016 | by Konkana Khaund
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Experimentation with Heat Transfer Fluids and liquid immersion cooling has already come to mark the next big wave of technology innovation in data center cooling. Efficiencies gained in using liquid cooling, particularly water, is helping prove the business case for sustainable cooling strategies for data centers that are constantly embroiled in high heat and power intensity challenges. Companies like 3M, Bitfury/Allied Control have already showcased their options in this area.

But, why just immerse servers and chips, when you can immerse a whole data center in fluid or water- Microsoft's recently completed three-month long experimentation operating an underwater data center proves that it is not only possible, but potentially offer a viable and highly efficient alternative to their land-based counterparts. The modular approach, zero net heat profile, and dramatically faster pace of deployment are just a few of the many advantages that these underwater pods could offer. While the threat of data centers overcrowding the ocean may not be a real concern any time soon, environmental impacts are yet to be determined. As well this may lead to more novel security and cybersecurity challenges that we haven't yet considered.