Microsoft sinks a datacenter in the Scottish sea
In latest tech news, Microsoft has sunk a data-centre off the coast of Orkney to create quicker and “eco-friendly” internet. The 40ft cylinder is powered by tidal turbines and wave energy converters, using the water to cool naturally. It is hoped Project Natick will see data-centres, described as the “backbone of the internet”, able to operate untouched for up to five years.
Despite being as powerful as several thousand high-end consumer PCs, the data centre uses minimal energy as it is naturally cooled. Having data-centres closer to people using the internet would create faster and smoother web browsing, video streaming and gaming.
One way to do this is by placing them underwater near coasts, according to Microsoft, as more than half of the world’s population live within one hundred twenty miles of a shoreline. The target lifespan of a Natick data-centre is at least twenty years.
After each five-year cycle, the vessel would be retrieved, reloaded with new computers, and redeployed. It is designed to be retrieved and recycled at the end of its lifespan. The cylinder is loaded with 12 racks containing 864 servers and associated cooling system infrastructure. It was assembled and tested in France and shipped on a flatbed truck to Scotland, where it was attached to a base for deployment on the seabed.