Microsoft releases the details of its pilot project of under the sea data center, which will cut the power cost of operating data centers and it will use the sea water for the cooling purpose.
GreatResponder.com Project Natick is the name of Microsoft’s project, which join the underwater unit using huge steel tubes connected by fiber optic line, could also use turbines to exchange tides and currents into electricity to power the computing apparatus. The new seabed data centers could also improve cloud response times for users living close to the coastline.
Ben Cutler, the project manager who led the team behind this experiment said “We take a big whack at big problems, on a short-term basis. We take a look at something from a new angle, a different perspective, with a willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. So when a paper about putting data centers in the water landed in front of Norm Whitaker, who heads special projects for Microsoft Research NExT, it caught his eye.”
A prototype was positioned on the sea bed off the coastline of California in August 2015 as part of a study into the ecological and technical problems involved in this form of low power cloud service. Microsoft researchers trust that economies of scale through mass manufacturing would cut operation time from two years to ninety days. The project is the most recent program from Microsoft Research’s New Experiences and Technologies (NExT) which started investigating new ways to power cloud computing in 2014.
“We’re a small group, and we look at moonshot projects, As we started exploring the space, it started to make more and more sense. We had a mind-bending challenge, but also a chance to push boundaries.” Whitaker says.
In the 105 day testing an 8 foot thick steel container was placed 30 feet undersea in the Pacific Ocean near San Luis Obispo, California. The submarine system had 100 sensors to measure force, moisture, movement and other situations, but the system stayed up, which expectant the Microsoft to expand the test to run data-processing projects from Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service.
In the next phase of the study, it will make an undersea data center system that will be three times larger. This will be constructed in partnership with a substitute power vendor. The name of the test partner has yet to be decided, but the commencement date is doubtful for 2017 at a location either in Florida or Northern Europe, where hydro power is highly developed.