How Data Centers Work


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Author's Note: How Data Centers Work

I'm amazed at the sheer size and scope of the huge data centers that make our wired world what it is today. I'm also grateful for them, since I'm online most of the time. It was my dream 20 years ago to be able to choose what, when and where I watched shows without being stuck at home at certain times of night. I didn't even imagine the binge watching that I'm doing today, or alternate sources of entertainment like YouTube. But our modern server farms have made those possible, as well as non-entertainment related things, like massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other educational resources.

But I do worry about the consequences. I'm glad that some of the major players are putting efforts into energy efficiency and carbon neutrality in order to conserve our natural resources and prevent unnecessarily huge emissions. We don't want the tools the Internet makes available, which we can use to make the world better through communication and education, to in turn destroy us. I like habitable climates more than entertainment. I'll swear to that, right after I finish playing Minecraft.

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