Data centers are hot, noisy and usually inefficiently located. Microsoft's solution? Put them at the bottom of the sea. Following initial prototype testing, the company's years-long Project Natick is finally delivering Microsoft's vision of sustainable, prepackaged and rapidly deployed data centers that operate from the seafloor. Yep. Underwater.
The first such data center has been installed using submarine technology on the seafloor near Scotland's Orkney Islands, and is already processing workloads via 12 racks of 864 servers. The system requires just under a quarter of a megawatt of power when operating at full capacity, which comes from renewable energy generated onshore. The shipping container-sized set-up also includes cooling technology, but much of the usual logistics and costs surrounding this have been eliminated thanks to the ocean's naturally low temperatures at depth.