Microsoft said that nearly half of the world’s population lives within 150 kilometers of the ocean. Moreover, because the oceans are kept at a low temperature below a certain depth, placing the machines on the seabed can save a significant portion of the cooling costs in the data center's operating budget.
Reported that the data center of the Natick project consists of 864serverAssembled, these servers are housed in a container that is about 40 feet long, and this container is currently placed underwater about 22 kilometers from the shoreline. This is only the tip of the iceberg when compared to technology companies such as Microsoft, which are frequently using hundreds of thousands of square feet of large servers. However, this is enough to be an exploratory experiment, demonstrating that they can deploy servers below the surface of the sea on a commercial scale.
As for this exploratory project, Microsoft said it will run the data center for 12 months. First, it will perform a series of tests on the server to check power consumption, humidity levels, noise, and temperature. Then, Microsoft will let some customers use this data center. If successful, Microsoft will continue to run these servers and allow users to use it for their own calculations. Currently, the Natick project is located on the sea floor owned by the Scottish government, but the data center is designed to be able to be loaded into a standard shipping container and transport it to where it is most needed.
According to reports, the energy resources of the Orkney Islands are all derived from wind energy, solar energy and tidal energy. This means that the Microsoft data center that provides electricity through a submarine cable will not increase the carbon emissions that cause climate change. .
If this idea can be used on a commercial scale, the underwater data center will most likely be powered by any locally available energy source. But even if powered by fossil fuels, underwater data centers are likely to use less energy than land-based data centers due to reduced cooling requirements below the surface.
The report said that Microsoft does not plan to publish the cost of the Natick project, but the company believes that once the commercial scale is reached, the design is actually cheaper than a land-based data center. A Microsoft spokesperson said: "We believe that this type of data center can bring lower costs and a simpler structure, with less raw materials, maintenance and power."