Installing and running a data center is an expensive tasks, they are big, complex and full of servers that need to be constantly cooled in order to keep working. Cooling servers and IT equipment costs as much as keep them running, which is why companies have been looking for cheaper ways to cool data centers over the years.
Such as installing them in really cold places, like Facebook’s one located Lulea that uses outside’s freezing air to cool the servers or Google’s Hamina data center, which servers are cooled thanks to a high-tech cooling systems that pumps sea water into them.
But what’s better than cooling servers with sea water? Throwing them underwater! Well… at least that’s what Microsoft thinks.
Redmond’s Giant revealed Project Natick: scientists built a data center inside a capsule named Leona Philpot and thrown it 30 feet underwater off the California shore for about four months, just to see how it worked. And it did it like a charm.
The only problem with this idea is that there are not sub-sea IT guys, but scientists say that these capsules’ computer hardware would just need to be replaced every five years.
If Project Natick goes from a research to a reality, Microsoft assures it will bring a lot of benefits besides the cooling advantages, such as: rapid provisioning, because these can be deployed in just 90 days; and lower latency, data will travel faster from its origin to end point for the 50% of the world’s population that lives near the sea.
Microsoft is still evaluating this concept and says it is at its “early days”, so if the sea floor is going to store data centers is yet to be seen, but now we know it could be a reality.
This equipment is the one you can find at any data center, but adapted for this kind of environment
Loading hardware into the Leona Philpot
Leona Philpot vessel
During The deployment of the Leona Philpot vessel, sea life in the local vicinity adapted to its presence