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Microsoft is exploring the possibility of data centres located underwater close to major coastal towns and cities, and has recently completed a test deployment off the coast of California.
The Microsoft research effort, codenamed Project Natick, aims to evaluate the viability of operating a data centre on the seabed. The firm disclosed that the first such deployment took place on the seafloor about 1km off the Pacific coast of the US from August to November last year.

Approximately half of the world’s population lives within 200km of the ocean, so placing data centres near to the shore would make them closer to the customers they serve, reducing latency and improving responsiveness, according to Microsoft.

The firm also said that having a data centre submerged in water should have advantages for cooling, and that this opens the possibility of using the sea as a source of energy to power the operation, possibly by harnessing power from tidal currents. This first deployment was apparently powered from the shore.


Source: New feed