In 2018, Microsoft sank a data center in the Scottish sea, especially the North Sea. Now, more than two years later, Microsoft shared its findings from its submarine data center experiment. Marine specialists pulled the barnacles-covered data centre from the Scottish sea to determine how the data centre was in the icy depths.
The effort is part of Microsoft’s Project Natick, a research effort that examines the feasibility of underwater data centers.
While people need oxygen, appreciate temperature changes and enjoy the world changing from night to day, computers have different needs. The Northern Isles’ data centre, 36 metres below the surface of the Scottish sea, was without oxygen in a controlled environment for two years. The data center is instead filled with dry nitrogen.
Microsoft saw one-eighth of the data center outage rate in the ocean, compared to one on land with the same components.
Despite modern travel convenience, more than half of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of a coast. People at Microsoft believe that flooding data centers near coastal cities can result in fast and smooth internet connections.
The next stage for the Project Natick team is to determine whether servers can be removed and recycled from the data centers after they reach the end of their lifespan.