“50% of us live near the coast, why doesn’t our data?”
After sinking a vessel the size of a shipping container filled with 864 Microsoft data centre servers to the sea floor, just off the coast of Scotland, Microsoft are now reaching phase 2 of project Natick, working with pioneers in marine energy to develop self-sufficient underwater data centres.
The question that spurred this outlandish idea was “50% of us live near the coast, why doesn’t our data?”
More than half of the world’s population lives within 120 miles of the coast. By putting data centres in bodies of water near coastal cities, this will allow customers lightning-quick web surfing, video streaming and game playing as well as authentic experiences for AI-driven technologies.
Microsoft are aspiring to create a sustainable datac entre which pulls locally produced green energy. Natick is envisioned to be zero emissions and 100% self-sustained. They will be made from recycled material which in turn is recycled at the end of its life. A Natick datacentre co-located with offshore renewable energy sources could be truly zero emission: no waste products due to the power generation of computers or human maintainers are emitted into the environment. Natick data centres consume no water for cooling or any other purpose. They will only require maintenance every 5 years, minimising the disruption underwater.
To find out more about phase 2 of Project Natick visit: https://natick.research.microsoft.com/
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