Microsoft Buries Data Centres Underwater; But for Some ‘Cool’ Reason

February 3, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Almost every modern-day technology company is certainly in for one particular race. The race to expand their data centres. And for a company like Microsoft, it has to come big, but not so easy.

Hurdles like power consumption and expenses need to be leaped past, and Microsoft is not any exception. But they are proving that they could be, with their new innovation that could expand their data centers at higher rates if put into action.

Project Natick, revealed by Microsoft, is the one that’s catching the attention of everyone around the world. This small data center engulfing capsule is located at one of the most surprising locations one could think of – right below the sea water.


An underwater data center is the least one could think of, but Microsoft’s clarification is that it could be the best. Leona Philpot, one of its data center infrastructures, has already been doing its demo work deep under the ocean for nearly four months off California.

The validity for the hardware used in these is currently estimated to be nearly five years; means one shouldn’t be worried about the onsite works during that time. This could be further expanded. Developments are now being focused on having the capsules run a minimum of 20 years without any human consultation.

That’s not the real benefit either. Project Natick means a clear cut effort to cut down the costs in setting up data centers. With all the high cost and power consuming hardware inside, data centers have always proved expensive with the power it draws, and the cooling it requires. Microsoft is tackling these two directly in this underwater project.

Direct sea water contact has made it possible for Microsoft to get rid of all those highly expansive air conditioning systems they have been deploying. This sounds similar to the one from Google in Finland, but Microsoft has just doubled the benefit with Project Natick. Plans to make use of turbines and tidal energies to power up the entire hardware machinery are what make this one stand atop the rest.

It’s still in its trial period, but Microsoft has already clasped the commercial data processing tasks of Azure to this prototype. They would be having a three-fold bigger capsule fabricated soon, which we believe could have further more of their data processing computations brought down under the water like those of Office 365.

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