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Data Centers Could Soon be Underwater

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A recent report has revealed a new creation under development by Microsoft. The prototype is a data centre that can complete all of its jobs hundreds of feet underwater. Every single day, data centres that are situated above ground can each contain thousands of computer systems, and with all of that electricity, one thing is sure to be created. Heat. The total amount of heat caused by so many systems running at one time can cause everything to overheat and then inevitably crash.

A Clever Solution

By placing the data hub underwater, Microsoft believes that they can rid the use of air conditioning and cut down the price by thousands of pounds. Not only that, but Microsoft are looking at using natural energy such as a wind turbine, or tidal energy to power the entire operation, leaving any costs that would naturally occur to be void. After all, it’s important for businesses to ‘go green’ nowadays.

Although Microsoft isn’t exactly sure how they will carry out the project, code-named Project Natick, a few ideas are floating around (excuse the pun). One idea is that there will be giant steel tubes, that sink down to the ocean floor and send a signal by optic cables. Alternatively, another idea is that the data centre will be suspended just below water level, allowing the renewable energy to be used at it’s prime.

Although we have numerous data centres everywhere you go, they are usually out of the way of all urban areas, due to a large amount of space needed to house such electronics. Microsoft believes that by putting it in the water surrounding the busy urban areas, they can not only cut down costs but speed up the data transfer to the customer.

Why This Advancement is Important

When you take out your phone, you think you’re using a small computer in the palm of your hand right? Wrong. You are in fact using more than a hundred computers. Now take into account the amount of people using their phone all around the world at the same time. That’s a lot of computers and a lot of data centres. Hence, the drastic ideas to find not only new places to put them but, in fact, a more environmentally friendly way of creating them.

Microsoft has recently launched their prototype into the Pacific Ocean, just off California. This took a mere 105 days to trial the project, and the researchers had surprisingly excellent results. Of course there were concerns about leakages, failures in the hardware and more, however with over one hundred different sensors all over the pod, to make sure they tracked it’s every move they were able to keep it completely dry over the experiment time.

With trackers on everything from humidity to motion and pressure, they were kept on tenterhooks with full knowledge that if something went wrong, they couldn’t just pop in and fix it. After the successful trial, Microsoft is now working on recreating it in larger proportions and are looking at launching their new creation next year.

With so much riding on their new creation, let’s hope that Microsoft doesn’t spring a leak. We wouldn’t want to be the one to burst that bubble!

About the author

Rebecca Walton

Rebecca has always been fascinated with the business and tech world, having grown up with parents in the industry. She has a real passion for science - particularly space and the unknown realms that surround the planet! Rebecca has been writing for different publications for nearly 6 years and is now an editor at Pangaea Express.