Microsoft testing Underwater Data Centers

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After building new Data Centers in the past year to make data more accessible, Microsoft believes that the future of Data centers may lie on the ocean floor. Under a new project codenamed Natick, Microsoft is testing self contained Data Centers hundreds of feet below the oceanic surface. “For years, the main cloud providers have been seeking sites around the world not only for green energy but which also take advantage of the environment,” said Larry Smarr, a physicist and scientific computing specialist who is director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology at the University of California, San Diego.

Building Data Centers underwater provides many advantages for the tech giant, one of the biggest being a more efficient means of cooling the data centers. Most Data Centers contain thousands of computer servers that run and generate heat, and these systems have to stay constantly cooled in order to run. Having these centers living on the ocean floors would use the natural cold temperatures of the water to do so. In addition, Microsoft is looking to capture the currents of the ocean with turbines as a means for powering the Data Centers. Both of these options allow the company to save money by using naturally occurring phenomena to run the Data centers.


Other advantages include reducing data latency by placing these underwater Data Centers closer to urban areas where people are actually using these services, and reducing the time needed to deploy the data centers as it becomes a job of manufacturing housing for the centers as opposed to constructing buildings on land. The idea is that these underwater data centers can be deployed in as little as 90 days once it takes off.
However this project is still in the testing phase, as Microsoft isn’t even sure that this idea may take off. But the implications of its success can spell out so much mire in the future for the tech giant.

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More about the topics: microsoft, research

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