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Opera Plans Containerized Data Center In Iceland 35

Posted by timothy
from the not-enough-virgins-to-satisfy-the-gods dept.
1sockchuck writes "Iceland's supply of renewable power has gained a high-profile international data center customer. Web browser developer Opera Software was announced today as the first customer of the Thor Data Center, which will house Opera's servers in data center containers that can use fresh air cooling, rather than chillers (a strategy also used by Google). The Thor Data Center is located in Hafnarfjorour, to the west of Iceland's ash-spewing volcano. Iceland's data center operators insist their location represents no operational risk from volcanic activity."
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Opera Plans Containerized Data Center In Iceland

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  • by XnR'rn (793753) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:27AM (#32304638) Homepage Journal

    Good for them. Renewable energy. Lower cooling bills.

    I wonder how large the datacenter needs to be to have a significant ecological impact?

    • They can use rivers to both power the machines and to cool them. The nature probably won't even notice, especially since the energy of the water gets back into water.
      • by Korin43 (881732) *
        Heating up rivers does have an effect though. I'd guess they've looked into it already, but you can completely mess up ecosystems by messing with rivers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)
          As I wrote, there is such a thing as a law of conservation of energy. If you heat the water with the waste thermal energy from circuits powered by the potential energy of the same water, how does that differ from letting the water simply fall down from mountains and heat up in the process, in terms of the temperature rise?
          • by gsnedders (928327)

            In terms of global temperature rise, none. In terms of the eco-system within the river itself, and what fish and other animals can live off it given a temperature rise, there's a lot of difference.

  • Thor is a pagan name [wikipedia.org], how will Christians respond to their offer?

    Miniature replicas of Mjöllnir [youtube.com], the weapon of Thor, became a defiant symbol of Norse paganism.

    What if the Hulk would come and take the data from Thor [youtube.com].

    • by maxume (22995)

      I imagine they will set it on fire.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      With the recent story of droids making streets in Austria safer (while I can see that "baptising" them & cars at my place simply doesn't work) or, closer to Iceland, some practical jokes with one volcano...it becomes more and more clear which gods are the true ones anyway. And will not ignore forgetting them for much longer.

      Why only now, you ask? Well, they might work on different timescales.

      Or a case of really bad hangover.

  • Sbelling (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:35AM (#32304688)

    The location isn't spelled "Hafnarfjorour", it's "Hafnarfjörður".

    Sheesh! How can you get a simple thing so wrong?

  • 404 (Score:2, Offtopic)

    We're sorry. Lava flows have taken away this object.

  • Svavar Kjarrval (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The town's correct spelling is Hafnarfjörður
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafnarfj%C3%B6r%C3%B0ur

  • Why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @09:20AM (#32304924)

    Just make sure you have good dust filters.

  • by john_uy (187459)

    how about if winds blow the ash to the site?

    • Re:ash? (Score:5, Funny)

      by doctormetal (62102) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @09:34AM (#32305020)

      Then they just call it ash cloud computing.

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Then any jet engines located inside the data center will suffer damage. I don't believe jet engines are a common server component but I'm not in the business.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not really a problem in Hafnarfjörður. Prevailing winds are from the west-south-west and Hafnarfjörður is west-north-west from Eyjafjallajökull.

      For those looking for Hafnarfjörður on a map, its a suburb south of Reykjavik (dons asbest suit).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Obviously a cover-up for their secret underground volcano-lair. Cue the sharks and LASER beams.Soon they'll be holding the world ransom for a hundred billion dollars.

  • A few other countries, including the mean old USA, produce much more geothermal energy than Iceland. Iceland has very few people - only some 300,000 - about the size of a largish town anywhere else in the world.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Of course Iceland produces less geothermal energy than the US. It's a lot smaller isn't it?
      But Iceland covers 95% of its energy needs with geothermal power (the rest is water power).
      And it has potential to produce as much geothermal energy as needed; in some places all you have to do is dig down a few feet and you have direct access to boiling lava.

  • More info at

    http://www.sun.com/service/sunmd/ [sun.com]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Modular_Datacenter [wikipedia.org]

    Sun Modular Datacenter (Sun MD, known in the prototype phase as Project Blackbox) is a portable data center built into a standard 20-foot intermodal container (shipping container) manufactured and marketed by Sun Microsystems. An external chiller and power are required for the operation of a Sun MD. A data center of up to 280 servers can be rapidly deployed by shipping the container in a regular way to locations

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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