The idea for an underwater data center is working, announced Microsoft after a successful experiment that started two years ago. In 2018, the company submerged an entire data center to the bottom of the Scottish Sea – 864 servers and 27.6 petabytes of storage remained at a depth of 36 meters.
At first glance, the idea of placing servers on the ocean floor may seem strange, but the Microsoft Project Natick team suggests that this will lead to more reliable and energy-efficient data centers.
On land, data centers are susceptible to corrosion due to the abundance of oxygen and high humidity, and also suffer from temperature changes. But a waterproof capsule with a temperature control system creates much less problems.
The idea of the company is for such data centers to be located quickly near shores in areas where they are needed.
Underwater servers have many advantages. Microsoft says the number of underwater data center outages is only one-eighth of ground-based data center outages. This is especially important given the complexity of maintaining a broken server on the ocean floor.
The next step for the Redmond company will be to demonstrate the withdrawal of an underwater data center from the ocean floor and its further processing.