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Why Data Farms Are Heading Underwater

The ocean’s cooling properties and energy potential led Microsoft to run a cloud center there for 105 days.
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Microsoft

For all the ethereal imagery, the cloud is a highly physical, earthbound thing.

When people check their Facebook likes or stream Netflix, the computing activity happens somewhere, usually somewhere far away in a gigantic warehouse stacked with high-powered computers. Those data farms aren’t floating in the sky. They’re sitting on land, sucking up a ton of energy and water for running and cooling the machines. They also tend to be built where land is cheap and millions of gallons of water won’t be missed—in other words, far from the dense urban communities that house most web users.