Microsoft Installs Prototype Underwater Datacenter

Microsoft Installs Prototype Underwater Datacenter

"Despite being as powerful as several thousand high-end consumer PCs, the data centre uses minimal energy as it's naturally cooled".

"More than half of the world's population lives within about 120 miles of the coast", Microsoft said on its website, describing the data centre as a "milestone" for the company.

Microsoft executive Cindy Rose said she hopes the work will be replicated at other data centers in the future. An undersea cable powers the data center, providing it with an internet connection as well. "By putting data centers in bodies of water near coastal cities, data would have a short distance to travel to reach coastal communities, leading to fast and smooth web surfing, video streaming and game playing as well as authentic experiences for AI-driven technologies", the company explained in a statement.

Spencer Fowers of Microsoft's special projects research group seals a logo onto Project Natick's Northern Isles datacenter in preparation for deployment.

The servers will receive renewable energy through an undersea cable which will also carry data back to shore.

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As a major player in the cloud infrastructure market, Microsoft is keen on figuring out better ways to store and power its machinery. The company says that almost 50% of the world population lives near the coast so why shouldn't our data be there.

Microsoft has installed an underwater data centre in a Scottish sea to determine whether it can save energy by cooling it in the water. Now, the company is looking to do the same off the coast of the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, an archipelago northeast of Scotland.

In phase two, which kicks off today, the company has fit 864 servers on 12 racks in a sealed submersible that's about the size of a standard 40-foot-long shipping container; it's created to function for five years without requiring any maintenance. It is also far quicker to deploy a data center offshore than build on land.

This research project, dubbed as Project Natick, involves a 40-foot long data-center pod that includes 12 racks holding 864 servers and 27.6 petabytes of storage.

Microsoft is doing something that sounds very odd at first glance; it has taken a fully functional data center and sunk it into the dark ocean depths.

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