An Experiment Under The Sea; Microsoft Finds Underwater Data Centre A Not So Bad Idea

Microsoft.com

So apparently back in 2018, Microsoft sunk an entire data centre to the bottom of the Scottish sea, plunging 864 servers and 27.6 petabytes of storage 117 feet deep in the ocean.

Today, the company revealed that its latest experiment was a success, revealing findings that show that the idea of an underwater datacenter is actually a pretty good one. Interesting

Although throwing an entire datacenter to the bottom of the ocean may seem very odd (I mean who came up with this idea anyway?) but Microsoft’s Project Natick team hypothesised that placing would result in more reliable and energy-efficient data centres. Well alright then

Now if you’re not familiar with data centres and how they work, don’t worry, I don’t know much either but here’s what the company have to say about the difference of it being on land and underwater.

Data centres on land run into issues such as oxygen and humidity corrosion and control temperature shifts. But far fewer issues come up in a watertight environment with tight temperature control.

The idea is that such servers can be easily deployed in large and small sizes close to the coasts of areas that need them, providing better local access to cloud-based resources in more places.

Microsoft says the underwater data centre only had one-eighth of a land-based datacenter’s failure rate, which is a dramatic improvement. That lower failure rate is important, since it is much harder to serve a busted server when it is at the bottom of the ocean in an airtight container.

For some time already, the company has been exploring the idea of submerged servers. Back in 2015, it dunked a data centre off California ‘s coast for several months as proof of concept to see if the computers would even survive the trip.

However, this round of trials was for a much longer period, with the aim of proving that the company was able to accomplish this task on a practical scale that could be manufactured and produced for real-world use.

I’ll have to admit, an underwater data centre does sound interesting. What do you think of this news?

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