Microsoft Interested in Underwater Location for Data Center
Companies nowadays are looking for new and interesting locations for data centers and it seems that Microsoft is really ready to make an impression, looking for such a location under the sea.
So, a series of companies have revealed lately that they planned on expanding their operations to new locations.
Facebook revealed that it would open a data center in the city of Lulea, in Sweden. The famous company claimed that the location choice might have been influenced by its efforts to cut energy required for cooling, as it is well-known that temperatures here are quite low.
Facebook might also be interested in opening a plant in Ireland, due to the possibility to exploit wind energy here.
According to Madd Apple news blog Apple also announced to be opening a new development center, in Italy, while Google seemed to be interested in creating its own data center in Finland.
Well, it seems that the most original and interesting idea of all actually came from Microsoft, which is interested in opening a data center nowhere else, but under the sea.
And Microsoft is so interested in this idea that it actually has started to test the possibility of developing such a center.
The famous company started to work at this project back in 2014. It seems that the idea was first found about a year before, by Sean James, a company employee who actually served on a US Navy submarine. And in about one year, Microsoft designed, built and deployed the new data center under the ocean.
The center is based on a vessel, whose prototype was named the Leona Philpot, after an Xbox One character. Actually, Microsoft revealed that this prototype vessel has been operational at about one kilometer distance from the Pacific coast, between August and November 2015. The news was reported by Microsoft on its official page of the project.
Although the project has been tested, Microsoft said that it is still in its early stages, so this means that the famous company still has a lot of work to do on the project. The company named its Project Natick, after a Massachusetts town. However, the tech giant claimed that this project is part of its continuous purpose of becoming more sustainable.
"Project Natick reflects Microsoft’s ongoing quest for cloud datacenter solutions that offer rapid provisioning, lower costs, high responsiveness, and are more environmentally sustainable," Microsoft stated.
It has been reported that Microsoft believes that the lifespan of the center it is able to create is of at least 20 years. However, after that, it can be salvaged and recycled. Microsoft also said that the whole project is based on the possibility of recycling and claimed that it would have absolutely zero emissions.
"No waste products, whether due to the power generation, computers, or human maintainers are emitted into the environment," the company stated.
"During our deployment of the Leona Philpot vessel, sea life in the local vicinity quickly adapted to the presence of the vessel," Microsoft's statement also added. However, as Microsoft has already claimed, there is much more work to complete at this data center until it will be fully functional.