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Will the Data Centres of the Future Be in Space?

Friday 17 August 2018

SpaceX and its Falcon Heavy launch of Elon Musk’s personal Tesla into orbit between Earth and Mars helped make space travel sexy again. Among the prognostications is the possibility of transitioning the common data centre—those server farms peppering the landscape—into the heavens.

What would possess a company to build a data center in a pod and then launch it into geosynchronous orbit? As strange as it may sound, there is much to recommend the idea: plentiful solar energy, a cold environment with almost no corrosive humidity, no storms or other weather events to worry about, and an untouched pod filled with nitrogen, where spinning drives could turn happily in zero-g.

As technology is miniaturised and the cost of launching satellites drops, the potential in space-based data centers becomes more appealing—enough so that Microsoft is running trials of sealed data centres under our oceans, which can provide insights for space. And HPE has sent equipment to the International Space Station to test how off-the-shelf IT gear could use relatively inexpensive “software hardening” to survive solar flares and radiation hazards.

For space exploration, ships may soon tote along the processing capability to handle the many terabytes of data their missions generate, streamlining communications with home base.

Join Park Place Technologies at IP EXPO Europe on stand GG7 on the 3rd & 4th October 2018 to learn more about how they can support your hardware maintenance needs at half the cost of the OEM. 

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