Air Conditioners

The Ultimate Cloud Is Fantasy | Rare Techy


Since the revolution By the turn of the millennium, the tech industry had spent billions creating a false narrative that called the cloud—a term most non-techies use to mean anything Internet-related—that was endless. , is lightweight, “green,” longer lasting, and more secure than previous analog data storage methods. They trained us to give, take, flow, send and share to infinity. After all, we now have easy and fast access to digital content anytime, anywhere, and the data is immutable.

What is a cloud? Where does it begin or end? Fiber cables that send our data packets across oceans and continents? Cell towers and cell phones? Are servers vibrating in data center buildings? Since 2015, I have been asking this question as an ethnographic researcher, security technologist and interviewer of managers and residents living near digital infrastructure sites. I have found that the answer depends a lot on who you ask. For the less technically minded, the cloud is the entire information and communication technology (ICT) network. In the data storage industry, the cloud refers to a special class of highly efficient data centers called hyperscalers (more than a third of data centers in operation), which are managed by some companies like Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS). ), Microsoft, Tencent, and Alibaba. In one sense, the cloud is a metaphor that summarizes the complexity of the infrastructure behind the digital world.

Many laymen are able to explain why the cloud is talking about the success of Big Tech’s market, but it obscures the rest of the cloud’s resources. In the wake of megadroughts, gigafires, greenhouses, and hurricanes, however, this cloudless commercial illusion is fading before our eyes. Thanks to the work of scientists, scientists, and journalists, we now know that clouds warm our skies and reduce our water runoff. Our communities are polluted with electronic waste and harmful noise. A partner in global warming, waste, and destruction of our environment, I have time and energy. nubecene (nubes is Latin for “cloud”).

The expansion of the cloud has not been achieved without restrictions. In some communities, residents are organizing, citing pollution, power grid failure, excessive land use, or unemployment as reasons to oppose the construction of new data centers. However, there is little sign of cloud growth, which begs the question: Is it too late to fix it? What reforms can be implemented to prevent the increasing environmental impacts of the cloud? Much of the work of researchers has been devoted to answering these questions, but a lesser question is: Is the cloud a permanent phenomenon? Must the cloud as we know it stop, in order for us to survive?

Enter Nubecene

Data centers even if it’s the same. The first data center I visited was nothing like the dynamic cyberpunk technology depicted in Google’s movies and marketing campaigns. Instead, I arrived in the broken frame of the office building, where racks of computer monitors were lined up in rows and columns, and cold air was blown from the air-conditioning unit below. on the floor. A typical data center is 100,000 square feet, but I’ve been in facilities that are the size of a small building or university. The average data center can consume as much electricity as a small city to power and cool its computing equipment, drawing energy from power grids in many parts of the world that are coal-fired. To maintain our expectations of uninterrupted availability, the data centers operate diesel engines in a hot-standby mode to provide power in the event of a power grid failure. The carbon footprint is thick when you look at the manufacturing footprint, the supply chains of servers, electronics, and other equipment that must constantly cycle through the shiny buildings of these facilities.

In an effort to reduce operating costs and reduce their carbon footprint, data centers are switching from computer room air conditioners (CRAC) as their cooling method. Air has a high cooling capacity, so many administrators are turning to a better type of liquid for computer cooling: natural water. Like humans, the thirst of the players can only be quenched with hard water, due to the harmful effects of sediment on the electrodes. Few homes recycle their water, and it takes millions of gallons a day to keep the cloud clean. Others use chemicals to treat water that circulates through their homes, and discharges wastewater into local waterways with unknown effects on local ecosystems, such as in the news that took place in the Netherlands. In places like the American Southwest, facing severe drought due to climate change, data centers are entering the Arizona desert, lured by tax breaks and regulations -business and seemingly unrestrained threats to local populations and ecosystems. There, the data centers pump water to cool the servers in the intensive water units, while the farmers are asked to feed the water. Arizona, where I spent six months researching data centers as an anthropologist, is not an exception but part of a broader trend of data centers taking root along vulnerable watersheds.

As part of my dissertation research on the ecological footprint of the cloud, I visited data centers in Iceland and, in the US, New England, Arizona, and Puerto Rico. Working as a novice technician, I helped decommission servers that had reached the end of their guaranteed lives (three years on average). I unpacked, unpacked, and pulled the cart over the cart that lined the big players, forcing their drives to wipe their contents before putting them in the trash piles. In the weeks before the junk removal contractor’s truck came to take them away, I would see my co-workers picking expensive chips or graphics cards from the skins of these condemned computers, an illegal but unpunished protective security economy, caused by the death of e-waste. According to the United Nations less than 20 percent of electronic waste is recycled each year. Millions of tons of spent electronics and toxic parts are dumped in computer graveyards in places like Ghana, Burundi or China, where rescuers (many women and children) smell the get rare metals, poison the waters, the soil, and their own. body in the process.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button