Data Centers

Photos: 20 innovative data centers that give us a glimpse into the future of computing

20 unique data centers

It is predicted that by 2025 data centers will consume one fifth of the Earth's total power. From cooling to lights to servers, there's no question that data centers eat up a lot of power.

Recent news that climate change may be happening faster--and more severely--than initially believed makes traditional data center design, and its massive consumption of power, something that needs to be addressed.

These 20 data centers are taking innovative approaches toward finding alternatives to traditional (and outdated) designs.

Project Natick

Project Natick is a Microsoft research endeavor that puts shipping container-sized pods filled to the brim with servers on the bottom of the ocean. The one active test machine currently in operation is just off the coast of Scotland, where Microsoft plans to leave it for up to five years for study.

Project Natick servers require zero human interaction and are designed to remain in place for more than five years without the need for maintenance or repair. These servers can be powered by 100% renewable resources and emit zero emissions. According to Microsoft, "no waste products, whether due to the power generation, computers, or human maintainers are emitted into the environment."

SEE: A guide to data center automation (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Image: Microsoft

By Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.