Microsoft’s underwater datacenter research project Natick

Microsoft’s underwater datacenter research project titled “Natick“, which was first revealed in 2016 has turned out to be a success according to the Windows-maker company. Microsoft has announced all the results and findings from the project today.

What Was Project Natick All About?

Microsoft’s key purpose behind this project was to identify the possibilities of running a data center underwater. As a matter of fact, the project was about minimizing the maintenance and evading all the issues faced by land-based data centers.

To begin with, Microsoft dipped a data center into the sea to keep it cool. It was in 2018 when the project reached the 2nd phase where Microsoft was researching whether the concept is economically, environmentally, and logistically possible.

Findings And Results From Project Natick:

  1. Since more than half of the world’s population lives within 120 miles of the coast, the Project Natick team picked the Orkney Islands for the Northern Isles deployment. The reason being, the grid there is supplied 100% by solar and wind energy.
  2. The failure rate of underwater datacenters is one-eighth of land-based data centers.
  3. This is a far better way that can improve the performance of the data centers. It also involved using energy more sustainably as compared to land data centers.
  4. Elimination of the constant need for replacement parts and maintenance. Most importantly, this will make the servers highly reliable.
  5. Without interrupting the freshwater resources that are important for agriculture, people, and wildlife; the datacenters can be kept cool.
  6. Increased efficiency due to enclosed surroundings filled with nitrogen, which is less corrosive in nature as compared to oxygen.

How Microsoft’s Underwater Datacenter Research Helps In The Hunt For COVID-19 Vaccine?

Microsoft’s project ‘Natick’ is processing workloads for a global, distributed computing project that’ll help us understand the vital proteins that cause COVID-19. It also helps in designing the appropriate therapeutics to stop it.

Launched in October 2000, the distributed computing project aims at harnessing processing power from idle computers to perform certain tasks for big science research. The project also focuses on the dynamics of the proteins responsible for performing several essential life functions. Read more here.

Let us know what you think about the new underwater data centers that will be used by Microsoft for its Azure cloud services.

Anuj Rautela
Anuj "BLaSToiS3" Rautela, a MOBA eSports player, who played competitively in Arena of Valor, creator of the team "ExDee Gaming" which represented India at Asian Games 2018. Loves to follow Space Tech (NASA, SpaceX, ESA, ISRO) Waiting eagerly for "Wild Rift!"