Microsoft Data Goes Underwater In Project Natick

 Microsoft has been testing Project Natick since 2015, when they had placed a steel capsule – the Leona Philpot- 30 feet underwater, in the Pacific Ocean. The capsule hosted a single data center rack that was wrapped in pressurized nitrogen in order to keep it cool.

The pod was fully loaded with equipment able to measure underwater pressure, humidity and motion.

The long-term plan was that similar capsules would be linked to one another in a chain, beneath the surface and they would use the movement of the seawater to generate energy.

The Leona Philpot was taken out of the water in 2016 and its successor, Project Natick, has already been submerged near the Orkney Islands in Scotland and is processing workloads with 12 racks of 864 servers.

Thanks to the ocean’s naturally low temperatures at certain depths, most of the usual costs that come with such a project have been eliminated.

Microsoft’s Project Natick team

In the next 12 months, the team will be monitoring the performance of the data center, even if it has been designed to operate for over 5 years without the need for maintenance.

Microsoft’s vision concerning Project Natick is one of sustainable data centers that operate solely from the seafloor, as the demand for cloud computing infrastructure is ever growing.

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