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Microsoft’s Underwater Servers Host Sea Creatures and Data

Posted May 9, 2017

Microsoft has big data centers all around the world. These Big Data Centers consume a lot of power. Some big data centers can consume as much electricity as some small US towns. These data centers have a considerable negative impact on the environment.

Microsoft’s engineers have come up with an ingenious solution to not only mitigate the negative impact of these data centers but to also make a positive contribution to the environment.

According to a recent patent application from Microsoft, they are planning to take these data centers underwater. These data centers will be placed in pressure vessels.

These data centers will incorporate some additional structural components like hoses, rods, ramps, frame components, crevices, roughened surfaces and cooling surfaces. The data centers will be submerged under water. Submarines could be used to submerge the data center.

Going under water could solve several problems by introducing a new power source such as wave energy, greatly reducing the cooling costs, closing the distance to connected populations as the most highly populated regions on the earth are located near the oceans, and making it easier and faster to set up datacenters.

This way Microsoft will mitigate the negative impact of these data centers. According to the patent application, Microsoft has a unique solution to protect data in these submerged data centers. For example, if a manual intrusion is detected, then the data will be protected by flooding the datacenter and destroying the persistent storage structure information.

More importantly, the structural components of the data center would actively promote reef life and sustain a surrounding ecosystem. Roughened surfaces will promote microscopic life, such as algae and bacteria, both of which attract next stage predators on the food chain. The data center would provide warmth and also disperse nutrients in a surrounding environment. Over a period of time, a beautiful artificial reef would thrive over the data centers.

How beautiful is that?

So the future datacenters would be more sustainable. And someday, data centers could become commonplace in the seas around the world.

Google is also planning to install data centers on water. Earlier this year, Google patented ships with kites. Google plans to install data centers on these ships.

The submerged datacenter is subject to intrusion by unwanted natural or man-made phenomena, in particular divers, submarines, ROVs, trained sea mammals, capture devices, or other covert attempts to access the datacenter. Microsoft has also patented an intrusion detection system for these submerged datacenters. The intrusion detection system includes multiple sensors to detect intrusion. The sensors include an acoustic sensor, a pressure sensor, a vibration sensor, a temperature sensor, a voltage sensor, a current sensor, or a fiber network integrity sensor.

If the intrusion is found to be successful, then the data is rendered inaccessible by deleting all local copies of encryption keys, ignoring all network traffic pending receipt of a special sequence of packets, or powering down the datacenter. Further, all local data may be permanently rendering inaccessible, by flooding the datacenter, destroying critical persistent storage structure information, or performing irreversible destructive actions on persistent data store elements.

The artificial reef datacenter is designed for both computation and data storage, as well as growth of marine life. By providing structural elements and other components of the datacenter adapted to actively promote marine life, the artificial reef datacenter benefits both the local marine life and the local network usage needs on land or elsewhere.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160381835
Patent Title: Artificial Reef Datacenter
Publication date: 29 Dec 2016
Filing date: 27 May 2016
Inventors: Benjamin F. Cutler; Norman Ashton Whitaker; Spencer G. Fowers; Jeffrey Alex Kramer;
Original Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC

Source: PatentYogi

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