Microsoft wants to put its data in the ocean

The Microsoft Datacenter US computer group plans to install data centers in the ocean, as part of a new project unveiled on Monday.

The US computer group Microsoft plans to install data centers in the ocean, as part of a new project unveiled on Monday.

“Go under water could solve many problems by introducing a new source of energy, greatly reducing cooling costs, reducing the distance with the people connected and making the easiest and fastest data center facility “the group argues in a post on its official blog.

50% of the population near the coast

Microsoft claims that half the world’s population lives within 200 kilometers of the coast, and a submarine data center could also work with the energy of waves or tides, while cooler temperatures underwater would ensure an automatic cooling. A data center is generally a computing power and heat generation corresponding to hundreds or even thousands of computers.

The initial idea arose from Sean James, a data center specialist at Microsoft who had previously worked for three years on submarines for the US Navy. “I had seen how it can be sophisticated electronics under water, and keep it protected from salt water,” he commented on the Microsoft blog.


The project unveiled on Monday and called Natick, is now seeking to determine the feasibility of potential submarine data centers. A first test was carried out last year with the immersion of a prototype for three months in the Pacific Ocean, about one kilometer off the coast where he could still be connected to the normal power grid.

The container of 17 tonnes and about three meters by two contained a mini data center computing power equal to about 300 desktops. With the exception of a check each month by a diver, the proper functioning of the prototype could be monitored remotely through cameras and sensors from the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond (northwestern US) permanently including during the passage of a small tsunami wave, Microsoft provides.

(afp / nxp)

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