Microsoft underwater datacenter capsule

Microsoft data center capsule pulled from the bottom of the ocean

Microsoft has just proved that you could effectively move something to a more secure location without having all the huge infrastructure costs of constructing a building. They proved that with the recent resurfacing of an experimental underwater data center that has now been retrieved from the ocean floor.

Microsoft and their researchers are assessing now how it has performed, and what they can learn from it about energy efficiency.

Microsoft finished building in 2018, a capsule data center that was kept under the ocean for two years in Orkney, Scotland. The location of Orkney was chosen because the island North of Scotland offers temperate temperatures, and the location is a pioneer of wind and solar power. The idea was that the cost of cooling computers would be lower if they were under water.

Microsoft is cautious about saying when an underwater data centre might be a commercial product, but is confident that it has proved the idea has value. On their website, they show how a coat of Algae, barnacles and sea anemones grew outside of the capsule. And on the inside, they were impressed with how many server failures they actually had.

They said that their failure rate was one-eighth of what they see on land on their regular data centers. And they hypothesize that the nitrogen, which is less corrosive than oxygen, and the absence of people to bump and jostle components, make the data center more reliable than data centers on land, according to the press release.

Microsoft experiment has the goal of providing reliable internet to more than half of the world’s population who lives within 120 miles of the coast. By putting datacenters underwater near coastal cities, data would have a short distance to travel, leading to fast and smooth web surfing, video streaming and game playing.

Watch below the impressive video.