Microsoft underwater data center


We know that there are large data centers around the world where our complete data is stored. Some are managed by google, some are managed by apple and some are managed by Microsoft. You might have seen large data centers which requires a lot of area and cooling system to keep the data secured and running. But Microsoft has taken next step and has gone underwater to store data. Yes, we are taking about underwater data centers which Microsoft has deployed in Scottish coast. It is called Project Natick.

Microsoft Underwater Data Centers

This is not the first time; they are using underwater data centers. In July 2014 Microsoft kicked of the first phase of Project Natick, but was not officially made public until Feb 2016. This data center prototype was of 30 feet and was operational for 105 days in Californian coast.

Now in second phase of Project Natick, Microsoft deployed a 40 feet long cylinder which comprises of 864 servers, which is enough to store 5 million movies and sits 117 feet below the ocean surface. ThisĀ 450-kW data center can process information for 5 years without any maintenance.

The main reason to use underwater data center in this marine coastline is because of the availability of renewable energy. The tidal and wave energy is converted so that this data center could be powered, also the combination of wind and solar energy helps power the data center. Orkney Island grid has wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity which powers 10000 residents with 100% renewable energy. Also the cold depth of the ocean offers ready cooling for the data center.

The two are the major cost for maintaining and running a data center. First the electricity to run all the servers which is increasing day by day as the data centers are growing. Second the cooling system which is one of the most important aspects while maintaining the servers. Tidal and wave energy generates the electricity required for the data center. And the cold depth of the ocean takes care of the cooling system, which has reduced the cost from 20% to zero.

This technology would help coastal cities to have high-speed internet access. The cost of running the data centers will also be reduced. Read the official website here. For the next 12 months, the team will monitor the subsea datacenter and see how it performs in the underwater environment.

Also published on Medium.