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  • Neat idea but highly impractical, replacing a failed hard drive would cost so much money. What about internet connectivity or other physical issues.

    Pepper graySpice (21) flagReport
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  • thats is very cool!

    Pepper graySpice (4) flagReport
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  • This is fascinating, i cannot wait to see what becomes of it.

    Also, i wonder if this will make a new field of IT work, Nautical Administrator.

    Pepper graySpice (72) flagReport
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  • I'd be up for that ...Data Centre Admiral :-)

    Pepper graySpice (54) flagReport
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  • internetguy wrote:

    Neat idea but highly impractical, replacing a failed hard drive would cost so much money. What about internet connectivity or other physical issues.

    You would hope they have entire racks of hot spares. If a container were to have a certain amount of failures i would imagine instead of repairing them off-site(underwater?) they would recover the entire unit and update it with whatever the newer technology is at the time.

    I hope there isn't so many of them people start beaching boats on top of them.

    Pepper graySpice (5) flagReport
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  • There's probably a bloke in a wetsuit banging on the sides already asking if there's anyone inside that wants to buy a GDPR white paper.

    Pepper graySpice (97) flagReport
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  • So instead of fixing all the issues their Windows updates cause, they are doing this...perfect use of resources. 

    Pepper graySpice (24) flagReport
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  • the start of the new Atlantis shall begin...

    Pepper graySpice (9) flagReport
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  • If they do this right... this could be very cool. No pun intended. If they research this and work out issues then implement it this could be really nice but if they rush this then... well I've seen a lot of rushed projects and lets not even mention Microsoft BOB. This had the "potential" to be a cutting edge type of project. Lets leave it at that.

    Pepper graySpice (4) flagReport
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  • Sometimes the best way to find out if something is a good idea is to try it.

    Pepper graySpice (12) flagReport
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  • internetguy wrote:

    Neat idea but highly impractical, replacing a failed hard drive would cost so much money. What about internet connectivity or other physical issues.

    Yeah at least for this version it didn't look like from the video there would be any way of performing any kind of maintenance on the servers.  However the opportunities this could open up in the future could be very cool! 

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  • I wonder what the environmental impact of this could be. 

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  • internetguy wrote:

    Neat idea but highly impractical, replacing a failed hard drive would cost so much money. What about internet connectivity or other physical issues.

    Is it cheaper to train a diver to do hardware work, or train an admin how to dive?  

    My primary concern would be from the waste heat getting dumped into the local water.  If the idea works, what's the impact of all that heat suddenly getting dumped into the rather fragile local ecosystem?  It's not as glamorous as the icecaps and saving the polarbears, but temperate water ecosystems are just as affected by rising temperatures. 

    Pepper graySpice (38) flagReport
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  • Well!!!! Isn't this subject just getting all the attention today!?!?!?

    Pepper graySpice (1) flagReport
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  • I need to hurry up and get SCUBA certified!

    Pepper graySpice (3) flagReport
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  • Technomancers United wrote:

    My primary concern would be from the waste heat getting dumped into the local water.  If the idea works, what's the impact of all that heat suddenly getting dumped into the rather fragile local ecosystem?  It's not as glamorous as the icecaps and saving the polarbears, but temperate water ecosystems are just as affected by rising temperatures. 

    That was the first thing that I thought of as well. A temperature change of just a couple of degrees in the area surrounding the server subs could have a significant impact on the local areas including fishing which many of the coastal communities rely on.

    Pepper graySpice (13) flagReport
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  • No, it's not cool.  That is the whole point.


    From an IT perspective it's a great way to manage heat. The problem lies in that you really can't cheat thermodynamics, the heat is being transferred to the local coastal ecosystem. Instant fish soup.

    This would prevent large scale deployments of this technology in areas of protected fisheries.

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  • I will give them credit for seeing this idea to an actual working concept.  Back 5 or so years ago when this story first came out I remember it being panned as just a publicity stunt by MS to grab media attention.

    I do wonder how the environmentalists will think about dumping all this waste heat into the ocean, with their emphasis on increasing sea temperatures and sea level rise.

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  • Erny328 wrote:

    I'd be up for that ...Data Centre Admiral :-)

    And you have ShipGirl Opens a new window assistants...Japan WTF.


    Pepper graySpice (1) flagReport
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  • Is this line:

    "designed to operate maintenance for up to five years"

    supposed to be:

    "designed to operate maintenance-free for up to five years"

    ?

    Pepper graySpice (5) flagReport
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  • The MS thinktank guys need to watch Captain Phillips. Physical access = total compromise. Are they going to start stationing armed patrol boats and armed guards in the datacenters?

    I think this idea fails on physical security alone.

    @Tulioarends As to ecological impact, I don't have numbers, but the heat capacity of water is immense. I don't see even a huge datacenter doing more than heating up the water for a few tens of meters by a few fractions of a Kelvin.

    Pepper graySpice (8) flagReport
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  • Matt Bartle wrote:

    Is this line:

    "designed to operate maintenance for up to five years"

    supposed to be:

    "designed to operate maintenance-free for up to five years"

    ?

    Thanks! Updated.

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  • Technomancers United wrote:

    Is it cheaper to train a diver to do hardware work, or train an admin how to dive?  

    My primary concern would be from the waste heat getting dumped into the local water.  If the idea works, what's the impact of all that heat suddenly getting dumped into the rather fragile local ecosystem?  It's not as glamorous as the icecaps and saving the polar bears, but temperate water ecosystems are just as affected by rising temperatures. 

    Good thought.  A worldwide concentration of these centers could cause massive changes in the ecosystem.  Maybe not directly, but as a root cause.  Imagine the proliferation of red algae and all the damage that would trigger.

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  • Infrastructure of Aquatica

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  • RussBd2 wrote:

    So instead of fixing all the issues their Windows updates cause, they are doing this...perfect use of resources. 

    Yes, because Microsoft as a whole, can only do ONE thing at a time. Microsoft better stop all work on Office 365, Azure, and Xbox too! 

    Pepper graySpice (12) flagReport
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  • The Megladon would probably resurface from the depths of the sea

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  • I'm tapping out on this one. Just because they can do something, does not mean they should...

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  • internetguy wrote:

    Neat idea but highly impractical, replacing a failed hard drive would cost so much money. What about internet connectivity or other physical issues.

    They don't. You overprovision and just fail the drive. They already do this in datacenters. As usual, XKCD knows what's up:


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  • jamjamil wrote:

    I wonder what the environmental impact of this could be. 

    For one unit? Nothing. For potentially millions of units in the future? Potentially significant. You put enough heat into the ocean and it will notice. 

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  • Beard of Knowledge wrote:

    The MS thinktank guys need to watch Captain Phillips. Physical access = total compromise. Are they going to start stationing armed patrol boats and armed guards in the datacenters?

    I think this idea fails on physical security alone.

    @Tulioarends As to ecological impact, I don't have numbers, but the heat capacity of water is immense. I don't see even a huge datacenter doing more than heating up the water for a few tens of meters by a few fractions of a Kelvin.

    The specific calorific of the water is 1 calories per gram per Celsius degree (this reads that the energy required to heat 1 gram of water one Celsius degree (or  one Kelvin as they have a displaced progression) is 1 calorie (this is a scientific Calorie, not nutritional. one nutritional Calorie is one scientific Kilo-calorie). That is one of the highest ones of any naturally occurring substances on the planet (that's why its used a lot for cooling systems or fear heat generations as it can carry huge amounts of energy per unit of mass.

    For thermoelectric plants that gets heat cooling from bodies of water you will see an increase of 1 to 2 degrees close to the output of the system but usually the temperature goes back to normal after a couple of meters away form it. This is called a thermal sink (a big body of matter that their average temperature is not affected by the energy transfer of your process)  

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  • Why don't they just put this stuff in cold areas where they can use the heat for actual work, like heating a town in siberia or using it to heat water for housing?

    Pepper graySpice (9) flagReport
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  • It seems like a really cool idea, but highly impractical IMO. The thing is (as others have mentionned), maintenance. It's not like you can keep someone on premises to reaplce a failed drive / blade. This and the idea that it would be a great risk to send people there to fix things. You need to think about underwater logistics (how to get down there you say? Oh ! We have a sub to get there! Yeah...), the danger you put your crew in, and also, *what if* there was a mistake and the airlock wouldn't function properly, the whole thing would be flooded.

    Again, a cool idea, but highly impractical. 

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  • Time to flood the network

    Pepper graySpice (9) flagReport
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  • I would hate to be the guy who has to make that commute to check on the data servers, LOL.

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  • dude22 wrote:

    Time to flood the network

    I see what you did there.

    Pepper graySpice (3) flagReport
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  • JPanz wrote:

    Technomancers United wrote:

    My primary concern would be from the waste heat getting dumped into the local water.  If the idea works, what's the impact of all that heat suddenly getting dumped into the rather fragile local ecosystem?  It's not as glamorous as the icecaps and saving the polarbears, but temperate water ecosystems are just as affected by rising temperatures. 

    That was the first thing that I thought of as well. A temperature change of just a couple of degrees in the area surrounding the server subs could have a significant impact on the local areas including fishing which many of the coastal communities rely on.  Of course, it would probably take a lot for this kind of effect to be produced...probably...

    Not to mention the wider effects.  If this became sufficiently common it could change the shape of deep ocean currents, which could have catastrophic effects on the global climate.  The last time the North Atlantic current was hindered (believed to be by an ice sheet collapse) Europe basically entered an ice age.

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  • cnicholsontech wrote:

    Why don't they just put this stuff in cold areas where they can use the heat for actual work, like heating a town in siberia or using it to heat water for housing?

    Speaking as someone who shares a residence with one of Siberia's American cousins, I am in favor of this.

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  • Microsoft Bob Ruled!!!!!

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  • Matt Bartle wrote:

    Is this line:

    "designed to operate maintenance for up to five years"

    supposed to be:

    "designed to operate maintenance-free for up to five years"

    ?

    They can't even get Win10 to update correctly every 3-4 months!  Does anyone believe that it will be "maintenance free" for 5 years!

    Yep, fish soup!  The environmental impact study will probably get doctored an we will see a faster melting of the ice caps termed as "an increased supply of coolant"!

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  • Beard of Knowledge wrote:

    The MS thinktank guys need to watch Captain Phillips. Physical access = total compromise. Are they going to start stationing armed patrol boats and armed guards in the datacenters?

    I think this idea fails on physical security alone.

    @Tulioarends As to ecological impact, I don't have numbers, but the heat capacity of water is immense. I don't see even a huge datacenter doing more than heating up the water for a few tens of meters by a few fractions of a Kelvin.

    Need to take account that that "fraction of a Kelvin" is not an instantaneous short duration effect, we would be talking a consistent minor increase over a very long duration.

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  • I think it is a great proof of concept. As for the environment I thought we stopped caring about that when Trump got elected. (sorry to bring him up but I could not resist)

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  • Okay, I have numbers:

    "Precisely, water has to absorb 4,184 Joules of heat for the temperature of one kilogram of water to increase 1 degree celsius (°C)."

    1 cubic meter of water weighs 1,000Kg, so a volume of water 100x100 meters has a mass of (100 x 100 x 1000) = 10,000,000 kilos. That means to heat that 100x 100 meter cube of water 1 degree celsius would take 41.48 gigaoules of power. For just that small 100x100 cube.

    From here on out, you'll have to make some assumptions about the amount of gear they can cram in the sub, but let's say they could cram about 6 42U racks of equipment, fully packed. Let's call it about 18 2U servers at about 750W each., plus ToR switching and maybe a storage array. That's approximately 90,000 watts of power.

    (1 watt = 1 joule /s) so if I were to put that sub in a 100 x 100 cube of water, surrounded by a perfect insulator, it would take about 5 days to raise the temperature of the small, vacuum-insulated cube by 1 degree Celsius.

    Since the ocean has a shortage of vacuum-insulated cubes, I'm thinking our oceans are safe.

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  • internetguy wrote:

    Neat idea but highly impractical, replacing a failed hard drive would cost so much money. What about internet connectivity or other physical issues.

    I imagine they'll use the same process in the submarine data center as they do for data centers built into shipping containers. When a system fails, it is abandoned and the work load transferred to remaining servers. When 30% of the servers have failed, the shipping container data center is decommissioned and replaced with a new one. TCO over the life cycle of the shipping container data center appears to be somewhat less than traditional data centers.

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  • Unless they find special parts or filter the water in some fashion wouldn't the salt water corrode or rust something and block the system up and then overheat and kill everything in the racks? 

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  • Up next.....datacenter in low earth orbit.....

    (I'd be the IT Astronaut Admin!!)  

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  • Let's make a few funny units, xkcd-style:
    1 kilosubwatt/year = 1,000 subs power draw over 1 year = 2.84 petajules / year
    Sounds like a lot, but we're talking scale here:
    Lake erie = 480Km cubed = just under 110.6 megakilos or 55,296,000 metric tons.
    That means we have to kick out 462.7 petjoules over the course of the year or about 14,66 gigwats per second. Put that in your hat and smoke it, Doc Brown.
    So it would take about 162 kilosubwatt/years, inside a vacuum-sealed erie to affect the water significantly.
    Now as for the ocean, we just don't have enough subs to do it. I've heard it takes the thermal output of a star to heat the ocean.
     
    Edit: Let me go on record to say that i think putting Lake Erie inside a vacuum is not a good idea.
     
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  • Technomancers United wrote:

    internetguy wrote:

    Neat idea but highly impractical, replacing a failed hard drive would cost so much money. What about internet connectivity or other physical issues.

    Is it cheaper to train a diver to do hardware work, or train an admin how to dive?  

    My primary concern would be from the waste heat getting dumped into the local water.  If the idea works, what's the impact of all that heat suddenly getting dumped into the rather fragile local ecosystem?  It's not as glamorous as the icecaps and saving the polarbears, but temperate water ecosystems are just as affected by rising temperatures. 

    My guess it would be lower than cargo/crude oil ships.  

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  • greganderson5 wrote:

    Up next.....datacenter in low earth orbit.....

    (I'd be the IT Astronaut Admin!!)  

    Have you tried blasting it off and on again?

    Also, solar flares would be a legitimate excuse for downtime.

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  • It's a whole new way to phish!

    It's the snark I would have expected from AKAODoyle and I'm not about to let it slide, even if you are.  

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  • Neat proof of concept, but I would not like to see this expanded too much in the ocean.  If they were to expand upon this idea, they should build their own indoor water tanks to put the data centers in; this way they can control the exact temperature of the water and not have the heat from said data centers mess with ecosystems in the ocean.

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