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ConnectX wants to put server farms in space

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posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 11:33 AM
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Interesting idea

I see a few hurdles with initial costs as well as data transmission fidelity & security (although I'm sure certain agencies would love the bottle-neck)

Thought it was worth a post though...
An innovative solution to a number of issues including limited space & power consumption.



The next generation of cloud servers might be deployed where the clouds can be made of alcohol and cosmic dust: in space. That’s what ConnectX wants to do with their new data visualization platform. Why space? It’s not as though there isn’t room to set up servers here on Earth, what with Germans willing to give up space in their utility rooms in exchange for a bit of ambient heat and malls now leasing empty storefronts to service providers. But there are certain advantages. The desire to install servers where there’s abundant, free cooling makes plenty of sense. Down here on Earth, that’s what’s driven companies like Facebook to set up shop in Scandinavia near the edge of the Arctic Circle. Space gets a whole lot colder than the Arctic, so from that standpoint the ConnectX plan makes plenty of sense. There’s also virtually no humidity, which can wreak havoc on computers.


Server Farms in Space

More detail @ Fortune...



ConnectX wants to take corporate data out of the cloud and into the final frontier, revolutionizing the way we store, transmit, and analyze information. When people talk about cloud computing, it’s usually understood that the cloud is a metaphor for groups of remote, networked servers. But when Lance Parker talks about “space computing,” he’s not taking poetic license. He means it literally: physical servers operating in outer space. Parker is the CEO of ConnectX, a startup company based in Los Angeles that’s working on a way to take corporations’ data out of the cloud and into the final frontier. If his company succeeds, it could revolutionize the way we store, transmit, and analyze information.


What if we put servers in space?


edit on 31-1-2015 by coldkidc because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: coldkidc

Temperature regulation of servers is a HUGE cost and issue. Ever stepped into a server room or closet? These machines can cook a thick Filet Mignon if not cooled. These rooms are usually kept rather cold.


Awesome idea! Upgrades will be a royal pain and expense though. I wonder what the tradeoff will end up being...



posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: nullafides

I think the most realistic way to get it started would be to use the exsisting private space industry to piggy-back already scheduled launches.

The private space companies like Virgin Gallactic & others have been trying to find their niche as a fledgling industry & the government contracts & "space tourists" probably aren't quite enough demand to allow many new commercial space transportation companies to develop.

If the private sector can begin adding demand however, I could easily see the demand outpace supply in the near future & spur new companies & development of the industry as a whole....this sort of thing might just be the way to get it growing & of course as it becomes more established the initial costs will come down which should snowball demand.



posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 01:46 PM
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originally posted by: nullafides
a reply to: coldkidc

Temperature regulation of servers is a HUGE cost and issue. Ever stepped into a server room or closet? These machines can cook a thick Filet Mignon if not cooled. These rooms are usually kept rather cold.


Awesome idea! Upgrades will be a royal pain and expense though. I wonder what the tradeoff will end up being...




I was thinking about temperature. Correct me if I am wrong but I always thought that it was a common misconception that space is cold, space is really nether hot or cold, it's really nothing. What is one of the best insulators, a vacuum. I have read that NASA actually has a problem with astronauts getting too hot rather then too cold. So what I am getting at is that you would really have no way of heat exchange, thus major overheating problems. I do know that there are ways of cooling processors where the heat is converted to electricity through a array of certain dissimilar metals but not sure how practical it would be due to the weight of those style heat sinks. Just a thought, what do you think?



posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: coldkidc



The next generation of cloud servers might be deployed where the clouds can be made of alcohol and cosmic dust: in space.
alcohol and cosmic dust:

What is the reference to alcohol and cosmic dust about?

I get the abundant solar radiation, extreme cold and zero-g advantages but the need for maintenance would represent a major cost - at least with current techology. Perhaps SpaceX and their proposed low cost space system are the missing piece of the puzzle.

Would this space server also need significant protection from cosmic radiation etc. ?

____
edit to add;


Musk has proposed a network of some 4,000 micro-satellites to provide broadband Internet services around the globe. SpaceX is partnering with Google and Fidelity Investments, which are investing $1 billion for a 10 percent stake in the endeavor.

source


edit on 142273392701bSat, 31 Jan 2015 13:52:07 -0600pmst0000000100000007 by UmbraSumus because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 02:59 PM
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originally posted by: bananashooter

originally posted by: nullafides
a reply to: coldkidc

Temperature regulation of servers is a HUGE cost and issue. Ever stepped into a server room or closet? These machines can cook a thick Filet Mignon if not cooled. These rooms are usually kept rather cold.


Awesome idea! Upgrades will be a royal pain and expense though. I wonder what the tradeoff will end up being...




I was thinking about temperature. Correct me if I am wrong but I always thought that it was a common misconception that space is cold, space is really nether hot or cold, it's really nothing. What is one of the best insulators, a vacuum. I have read that NASA actually has a problem with astronauts getting too hot rather then too cold. So what I am getting at is that you would really have no way of heat exchange, thus major overheating problems. I do know that there are ways of cooling processors where the heat is converted to electricity through a array of certain dissimilar metals but not sure how practical it would be due to the weight of those style heat sinks. Just a thought, what do you think?

Interesting. I just googled and it says there're three ways for heat to transfer: convection, conduction, radiation. With an object in space. radiation is really the only method. So an object which is hot is going to need a lot of large (passive?) heat radiators.



posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 04:28 PM
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really dumb idea, the maintenance costs will be massive and maintenance will be slow.

When they have a server problem they call their IT/astronaut guy in the middle of the night and say:
" we have a problem with a server but there`s no need to hurry we won`t have a ship ready for launch until next month"

Do you think the IT guys will want a substantial raise since they will have to be trained astronauts also? or maybe they will just outsource their IT to china to save money?



posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 05:21 PM
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First in the cloud and now into space.Soon my data goes interstellar..



posted on Jan, 31 2015 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: coldkidc
It's hard to measure the temperature in space, so it's hard to say how cold it is...some parts of space are over a million degrees.

In low earth orbit (LEO), an object in the sun (not shaded by another object) will get hot enough to boil water so it's not cold. According to NASA, a plate in LEO would be 394 degrees Kelvin:

www.grc.nasa.gov...

Estimating the Temperature of a Flat Plate in Low Earth Orbit

This problem is a real-world problem that I first encountered in my daily work at NASA. A flat plate is orbiting the Earth at a mean altitude of 300 km. Its orbital velocity is 7500 m/sec eastward. (All spacecraft are launched eastward to take advantage of the Earth's rotational motion.) The plate is in sunlight. Sunlight warms the plate, and the plate radiates thermal energy back into space....

This value is too small to make a significant difference when compared to the contribution of the sun. We therefore ignore it, and take the plate's temperature to be 394 °K.
Isn't that hotter than pretty much everywhere on Earth, except maybe an active volcano? That's pretty darn hot. If you want cold, you'd be better off at the arctic circle.

As others stated there is the maintenance issue, so the whole idea doesn't seem that great.


edit on 31-1-2015 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Feb, 1 2015 @ 06:29 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

All you would need is a plate to capture that sun light and have the server int he dark underneath that plate. Keep the plate insulated/seperate from the server in space and the server will be kept super cold.

Due to costs being extraordinarily high to launch things into space... then i doubt this is really a brilliant idea. arctic circle would be better.



posted on Feb, 1 2015 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: DaRAGE
I thought of that but you'd have to add some kind of mechanism to keep the "umbrella shield" always between the sun and the object, because remember it's orbiting the earth maybe every 90 minutes in low earth orbit. While such a mechanism might be possible to design, it would be subject to mechanical breakdown.

The "Solar probe plus" will use a shield as you suggest, and that will work because it won't be in orbit around the Earth, so it won't have to worry about changing the orientation of the shield in 90 minute cycles.



posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: bananashooter

While not being a scientist, I agree mostly with what you said.

Temperature is relatively speaking a by product of the use of energy. Nothing is warm, it is "warmed". Without additional use of energy, it will not remain warm.

Heat is a victim of equilibrium. It disperses and is spread as equally as possible (barring insulators, etc).


I do like what you're mentioning about dissimilar metals and heat sinks though...interesting stuff, I'll read up on them!



posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 04:54 PM
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As pointed out, in space, the only way to dissipate heat is by radiation. Until it is extremely hot (white glow) that's much less effective than mechanical convection or evaporation, which is why on Earth, cooling systems nearly always use fluids like air or water or freon.

google 'cooling towers' for how it should actually work.




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