December 5, 2022


Sapiens Digital

The Many Intricacies of Microsoft’s Underwater Data Centers

The firm is submerging its data centers to keep them cool.

Slowly but surely, everything is moving to the cloud making our data more accessible and secure. But as we make this move, we start to need increasingly more data centers. Ideally, these servers will also be as close as possible to their users for super-fast access and powered by clean energy for the sake of our environment.

This has led Microsoft to try installing data centers on the ocean floor. 

Microsoft’s first test of the concept was Project Natick, a data center that was submerged in the Northern Isles back in 2018. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Scotland’s Orkney Islands.

The location was ideal for this experiment due to its relatively cool waters and close access to a power grid that was sourced from solar and wind power meeting Microsoft’s energy-saving and sustainability objectives.

The submerged data center was equipped with 12 racks, 864 servers, and 27.6 petabytes of storage.

How well did the experiment go? How many data centers have been submerged since then? What is the engineering and technology behind these submerged data centers? We answer all these questions and more in our video and bring you footage of Project Natick.

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