Technology giant Microsoft just sank a data center in the ocean as part of a research project. The company took 12 racks with 864 servers and about 27.6 petabytes of storage and placed it in the Scottish sea to see if it can save energy by cooling the data center with the help of the sea. This is not the first time that Microsoft has done that as back in 2015, the company sank another data center on the coast of California for about five months.
This is part of Microsoft’s Research Project Natick and the company pointed that Natick data center “is as powerful as several thousand high-end consumer PCs and has enough storage for about 5 million movies”. It took the company less than 90 days to ship the data center from the factory to actual operation. The data center will be powered completely from “locally produced renewable electricity from on-shore wind and solar power and off-shore tide and wave”. The data center will be powered and connected to the internet using an undersea cable.
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Microsoft is aiming that with Natick data center will help it improve the surface design while keeping a track about any operational issues with the data center. The information from both of these things will help the company turn such undersea data centers a reality across the world. The reason for this, according to Microsoft is that 50 percent of the population of the planet lives near the coast and it is about time that our data also started living near the coast.
The company also pointed out that in addition to reducing the cost of energy it takes to cool down the data center while keeping it operational, such offshore data centers will help fill the need of data resources in future that are located close to the users to ensure that there is lower latency in connection, more sustainability when it comes to setting up data centers, and increased response time to market demand while setting up a data center.