Underwater datacentres? What could go wrong?!

By 4th October 2018 Blog

Water cooling systems have long been used to prevent over-heating in computers, but what about the big data computers? According to many big tech companies like Microsoft, you put them in the ocean. In fact, the company has just deployed a datacentre off the coast of Scotland.

Cooling is probably one of the more larger costs when it comes running data centres. Many companies have come up with creative ways to keep them cool. Google uses AI (Artificial Intelligence), while other companies have used the icy arctic circle.

Microsoft is calling this Project Natick and with it they have been experimenting with submerging their datacentres and pumping cold ocean water through to keep them cool. In 2015, the first phase was done off the shores of California and was proven to be feasible.

Phase 2 is the centre off the coast of Scotland and is being implemented to test the logistical, environmental and economic factors. Known as the Northern Isles data centre, the facility sits 36m below the waves and measures 12m long with 12 server racks loaded with 864 servers. In order for them to be adequately cooled, sea water is piped through the radiators on the backs of the server racks.

The world connects to the server through fibre optic cables and is powered by renewable energy sources. The team hopes to have Project Natick completely self-sustained, powered through the ocean.

You can check out the datacentre being submerged in the video below:

Leave a Reply