Tuesday, August 20, 2019

 

TerraCloud started out as an idea – actually a question, “How do we create reliable data storage for 50+ years?” Today's rackmount air-cooled servers work well for short term service, but are expensive and insecure platforms for long-term data storage and secure computing. Standard rackmount air-cooled servers are noisy and expensive to cool. They are vulnerable to environment threats such as hurricanes and fires as well as hands-on maintenance errors and human mischief. They require expensive buildings, controlled environments, human access, tall fences and uniformed guard staff to keep them safe and operational. This just doesn’t work for long-term data storage and secure computing.

Our answer?

TerraCloud runs on liquid-cooled servers that are sealed and installed underground.  TerraCloud data storage servers are cooled by closed loop geothermal cooling that transfers heat deep into the earth.

 

 

 

Hidden away.

Why would anyone want to put a computer underground? Our original question drives our answer - “How do we create reliable data storage for 50+ years?” Where do we store things for long-term safe-keeping? TerraCloud stores your data underground to give you the safest, most stable, most reliable data storage available today. TerraCloud data storage is tucked inside the Earth where it is protected from water, fire, wind, rain, hurricanes, tornados, and prying eyes and hands. TerraCloud servers run silent and run deep. Once in place, TerraCloud servers are untouched by human hands until they are replaced with new TerraCloud servers. Vandals and thieves have no access to TerraCloud servers because the only way to access our servers is to dig them up. The result? A data storage system with very high physical security.

 

Sealed and Clean.

How can you put a computer underground? TerraCloud servers are sealed to the outside environment. Water flows through cooling tubes, carrying away heat without touching the pristine environment inside the server. Nothing can get in and nothing can get out. TerraCloud servers are environmentally sealed and protected from airborne dirt, debris, and contaminants. TerraCloud servers can be installed almost anywhere - even underground.

 

Earth Friendly.

What if we could find an Earth-friendly cooling source that would dissipate excess server heat? What if that cooling source didn’t require an expensive and complicated refrigeration system? What if that cooling source is available everywhere – in abundance? Look down. You are standing on it.

 

Geothermal cooling is a process in which water heated by servers is cooled by circulating the water through a series of closed loop pipes that are in a deep hole bored in the earth. As the warm water travels through the pipes, heat is transferred into the ground where it is cooled and then transferred back to the servers to pick up more excess heat. Geothermal closed loop systems are considered one of the most environmentally friendly cooling systems. Geothermal cooling is especially well suited for data storage servers because it can keep storage drives up to 40 degrees F cooler than similar air-cooled drives.

 

The geothermal jewel in the rough is this: when a server is directly liquid cooled, it may be effectively cooled without the need for a refrigeration cycle. This results in a 75-90% reduction in cooling costs and is more environment friendly, less expensive, less complicated, and more reliable than standard chiller or free-air datacenter cooling. Cool.

 

Simple and Reliable.

Simple = More reliable. Servers with more moving parts, more joints, or more components will have an increased average failure rate. TerraCloud servers eliminate internal fans and thus remove one of the major power inefficiencies and failure points of servers. TerraCloud servers are immersion and direct contact cooled, minimizing the effects of component hot spots and reducing the average operating temperature of all components.

 

Cool servers are happy servers and have a longer lifetime. In a traditional air-cooled server, drives at the front of the case are cooler than drives at the back of the case and drives at the bottom of the rack are cooler than drives at the top of the rack. These temperature inconsistencies lead to inconsistent drive failures and drive maintenance costs. TerraCloud servers maintain a consistent temperature across all drives, allowing them to perform throughout their MTBF lifetime.

 

TerraCloud servers are designed to operate for the maximum lifetime of the server components. TerraCloud servers do not have to be preemptively replaced in order to reduce anticipated failures, but are designed to operate to their maximum lifetime allowing the servers to fail-in-place. Operating TerraCloud servers using a fail-in-place strategy is an economic win and results in lower overall operating costs than traditional servers. Using a fail-in-place strategy allows dramatic cost reductions in the facilities, personnel, training, and risk management associated with data storage systems.

 

TerraCloud servers adopt the philosophy that less is more. And when less is more, simplicity leads to reliability and reliability leads to a better night’s sleep for everyone.

 

Innovation.

TerraCloud is thinking out of the box – way outside of the box. TerraCloud innovation is currently supported by nine patents that describe innovations in subsurface installation, cooling, pressure balancing, fluid flow optimizations, physical data security, and hard drive cooling. These patented technologies plus new applications of existing ideas make TerraCloud servers unique in the marketplace. TerraCloud is position to create a whole new class of data storage with leading efficiencies, reliability, security, and longevity.

 

Security. Security. Security.

What are the first three rules of data storage? Security. Security. Security

 

The data must be secure. Data storage means data redundancy – a lot of data redundancy. This redundancy is provided by the data storage software system that runs on TerraCloud servers. Essentially, the data storage system makes multiple replicas of a data object and then keeps track of each replica to make sure than all replicas are the same. If one of the redundant replicas of the data object does not match the other replicas, then the faulty replica is disposed and a new replica is created. In this way the data storage software works like a robot to reliably maintain data objects even if disk drives or servers fail.

 

The server must be secure. Data storage servers in existing data centers are in large rooms where anyone with access can vandalize or remove the servers. TerraCloud servers are buried underground where no one has ready access to the servers. The physical security of TerraCloud servers in unmatched.

 

Access to the data must be secure. The next step for TerraCloud is a software framework that insures that the account owner alone decides who has access to information store in a TerraCloud account. TerraCloud is your filing cabinet and should only serve the role of information custodian, leaving you in complete control of your data. Nothing currently exists in the marketplace like the upcoming TerraCloud data security framework and we can’t we to tell you more about it.

 

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