Microsoft Just Dumped a Data Center Into the Ocean

In an effort to reduce costs, Microsoft has deployed it’s first full scale data center, 864 servers, into the ocean. Coined Project Natick, this is the second test deployment they’ve submerged underwater and the hope is “We know if we can put something in here and it survives, we are good for just about any place we want to go,” Microsoft Project Natick chief Ben Cutler said in a statement.

Why take all this effort to dunk data centers underwater? According to Microsoft, it’s about energy efficiency and fast data transfer. The company notes that roughly half of the world’s population lives within 120 miles of the shore, so being able to house servers near them could allow for quicker access to online services.

Next, these can be powered by wind mills located near the water, so you’d never have to worry about outages or energy costs. Lastly, the water in the ocean is perenially cold, and can thus take care of cooling the data centers without incurring additional costs for thermal balance.

Why it’s hot?

Companies are pushing the limits on finding alternatives to save costs and meet customer demand. This is the second test Microsoft has run and they won’t know if it’s sustainable or harmful to the environment for at least 12 months. How far is too far to stay ahead of the competition?