New frontiers for digital infrastructure

The Arctic is definitely becoming the new frontier for digital infrastructure and digital heritage alike. GitHub has long launched its own Archive Program, a large-scale, multi-tiered storage architecture to allegedly preserve open-source projects. The ultimate archival facility is located 250 meters deep in the permafrost, more precisely in a decommissioned coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago, closer to the North Pole than the Arctic Circle.

As to Microsoft, no later than five years ago they came again into the limelight as their experimental data center deployed 117 feet deep undersea in spring 2018 off the Northern Isles (Scotland) has proven to be a success as far as sustainability strategy around energy, waste and water is concerned. “As we are moving from generic cloud computing to cloud and edge computing, we are seeing more and more need to have smaller data centers located closer to customers instead of these large warehouse datacenters out in the middle of nowhere”, quoth Spencer Fowers, a principal member of technical staff for Microsoft’s Special Projects research group.

It might be high time for countries in northern Europe to witness a bevy of small-to-medium scale data centers off their coasts.