In 2018, Microsoft sank an entire hub data at the bottom of Scotland, 864 servers with 27,6 petabytes, 117 feet below the ocean. Today, the company reported its latest experiment was successful, revealing findings that show that the idea of an underwater data center is actually quite good.
Placing an entire data center on the ocean floor may seem strange to most, but its team Project Natick Microsoft hypothesized that this experiment would result in more reliable and energy-efficient data centers.
On land, data centers deal with issues such as oxygen and moisture corrosion, and control of changes in temperatures. But in a waterproof environment with strict temperature control, they appear less problems. The idea is that these types of servers can be easily deployed in small and large sizes near the shores of the areas that need them, providing better local access on resources based on in cloud, in more places.
Microsoft says the underwater data center just had it one-eighth the failure rate of a land-based data center, a dramatic improvement, according to his information The Verge. This lower failure rate is quite significant, as it is much more difficult to service a server that has been damaged when it is in airtight containers on the ocean floor.
The company has been exploring the idea of submarine servers for quite some time, and in 2015, it put a data center off the coast of California for several months, as proof of the idea, to see if computers they will survive even on the journey.
This test run was for a much longer time, with the aim of proving that Microsoft could run with success this project on a practical scale so that it can be constructed and produced for real use.
The next step for the team Project Natick is to show that server they can be easily removed and recycled once they reach the end of their life.