With Yogi Berra I’ve always believed that to be the case. So when Adil Najam called to ask me to contribute to a book on futures, my first reaction was to refuse. But I was persuaded. Data centers powered by cheap electricity and cool climes on the Southern slopes of the Himalayas featured large in the story. I had a good time working on it but I also feared something coming at me sideways. It has.
Taking a page from Jules Verne, researchers at Microsoft believe the future of data centers may be under the sea.
Microsoft has tested a prototype of a self-contained data center that can operate hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean, eliminating one of the technology industry’s most expensive problems: the air-conditioning bill.
Today’s data centers, which power everything from streaming video to social networking and email, contain thousands of computer servers generating lots of heat. When there is too much heat, the servers crash.
Putting the gear under cold ocean water could fix the problem. It may also answer the exponentially growing energy demands of the computing world because Microsoft is considering pairing the system either with a turbine or a tidal energy system to generate electricity.