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Most data center managers, at one point, will need to figure out the answer to this question: “Where do we grow from here?” With the increased demand for data center storage to accommodate the growing use of data for a wide array of applications, it’s inevitable. Studies show that the demand for storage has grown at a pace of 50 percent annually in recent years.
That’s why it may not have been so surprising to hear the news that Microsoft is going deep to find the answer to that question. The firm recently announced that it is experimenting with the idea of installing data centers in the ocean.
According to news reports, Microsoft recently completed a three-month experiment in which it placed a data center in the ocean off the coast of California. The test included a server rack in a water-tight steel cylinder. The plan wasn’t without merits — the underwater data center addressed several problems. It didn’t take up as much energy and land space. Ocean currents produced the energy needed to power the data centers, as well as addressed cooling issues.
The experiment was extended for 75 days than what was originally planned, largely because it performed better than anticipated, according to Peter Lee, corporate vice president of Microsoft Research NExT.
While the Microsoft experiment seems promising, data center managers faced with the need to find more realistic solutions can look to these options to meet demand for more computing capacity:
Build a new facility. Companies with the budget and huge needs on the horizon may want to make the multi-million-dollar leap by building a new data center. This is a viable solution if the company does not have an immediate need for the extra capacity and is able to calculate a good return on investment.
Outsource. If the demand for more computing capacity is more urgent and budget is a concern, a colocation provider can provide a more immediate and cost-effective solution. Under this arrangement, the company would be able to quickly use additional servers.
Combination. In other instances, a company could consider upgrading its current infrastructure as well as use a colocation center as part of a solution that addresses numerous needs.
Lifeline Data Centers, a colocation provider headquartered in Indianapolis, is dedicated to helping its clients expand their data center capacity. Contact us to find out how we can do the same for you.