Microsoft sinks data center in Scotland’s sea

Microsoft announced that it has been working with Naval Group to design a data center for processing workloads under the sea.

The project could potentially assist Microsoft to shift its factory-built modular designs from earth to sea while delivering lightning-quick cloud services to coastal cities around the globe.

Marine energy tech

The data center, dubbed Project Natick, is the same size as shipping containers and was originally tested in France by Naval Group before being shipped to Scotland.

Naval Group assisted the tech giant by helping design the marine energy technologies, and to help determine whether the data center can save energy by cooling it in the sea.

Microsoft attached the data center to the seafloor near Orkney Islands, which needed the assistance of a crane, 10 winches and a gantry barge.

‘Cloud dependant’

“For true delivery of AI, we are really cloud dependent today,” said Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft AI and Research on Microsoft’s blog post.

“If we can be within one internet hop of everyone, then it not only benefits our products, but also the products our customers serve.”

Natick’s team will also record and monitor the performance of the data centre throughout the year, ensuring power consumption and internal humidity is working how it should be.

Written by Leah Alger