Microsoft begins to put data centres under the sea, seeking energy efficiency, beginning off Scotland

They can be installed much quicker than onland data centres …and will be renewable-powered, in this case by tidal, wind and solar. The company hopes to power future data centre installations directly using offshore wind or tidal energy, with no grid connection needed.

Microsoft’s Project Natick involves placing cylinders the size of shipping containers,  containing >800 servers (in the Scottish case), under cool sea water. They will use a lot less of it than onland servers: “The vast majority of electricity for datacenters on land is gobbled up by their cooling process. But submersion in the northern ocean’s frigid water provides a constant natural source of cooling, which also makes the servers less likely to overheat and crash.”

Image: Microsoft

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