Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Microsoft Considered Green Server Farms In Iceland

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 14, 2011

I've been intrigued by Iceland and its large reserves of geothermal energy, which is essentially zero-carbon power; and by its location: mid-Atlantic between North AMerica and Europe.

You'd think this would make it a great location for large server farms, especially since it now has high speed trans-Atlantic data links.

I went to an interesting media dinner last week with Microsoft scientists (full report coming) working on data center issues. They said that Microsoft did consider building a data center in Iceland but rejected it.

The main reason was that Microsoft decided to locate its data centers no more than 500 miles from large population centers because of latency issues.

However, there are many cloud applications, such as email, where latency would not affect the user experience much. Maybe others will consider doing what Microsoft decided not to do.

For example, would you use a web based email service if it was 100% Green and zero carbon? Would you sign up for GreenMail over HotMail?

- - -
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