Microsoft has announced that its ‘ Project Natick ‘ project has been a success, and this project consists of an initiative to make use of an underwater data center, which was installed on the seabed, next to the Orkney Islands, in Scotland, two years ago.
According to the company, the standalone server capsule (consisting of 12 racks and 864 servers) was filled with nitrogen and achieved a much lower failure rate, component-wise, compared to traditional data centers on land. In fact, its failure rate was one-eighth of that of traditional servers. The absence of oxygen and lower humidity levels may have been decisive factors in this failure rate.
There are some obvious advantages to such a server deployment abroad. For one thing, all that cold water actually helps cool the internal components, which means huge energy savings to cool these components. There is also no need for land acquisition or infrastructure development that is typically associated with ground server sites, which dramatically lowers costs associated with data center deployment.
In addition, one of the other advantages is that the Project Natick project was powered entirely by renewable energy sources, courtesy of the Orkneys network, which extracts 100% of its energy through experimental wind, solar and green technologies that are being developed at the European Marine Energy Center. Considering its success, it can certainly be expected that Microsoft, and other companies, will find it interesting to deploy this type of server on the seabed.