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Microsoft Works on Underwater Data Centre To Reduce Data Latency For Coast Dwellers


Microsoft, just like any  company, believes in having data centers across the globe to work better. It has recently come up with a unique concept –having a data center under water that will play an important role in the reduction of data latency in places near the sea.

Before we know more about the project, let us first understand what a data center actually is.

Companies like Microsoft, Google or Facebook, which are multinational companies and have tons of data, would not be able to house the data in one place, not because of space restrictions, because having one location to keep the data would make the data very slow to access.

If a hundred locations tried to access on server, not only would data access be slow, but it would also be very tough to get through to the server.

This is where the data centre comes into play. The data centre is actually a facility that serves as a conservatory for all the company.

It generally comprises a set of racks with disks or computers and is generally accompanied by a server. The facilities generally incur huge costs in terms or electricity, cooling, security, fire protection and dust and humidity control.

To save costs, companies have begun choosing weird locations for the setting up of these centres. As an example we can cite Facebook’s choice of Lulea in Sweden as the site for its data centre, so that the chilly climate can bring down cooling costs the lowest.

Similar choices by other big brands have prompted the use of odd locations for data centres. Similarly Microsoft has decided to do the same, but underwater.

The project that Microsoft is working on is Project Natick, with its first prototype Leona Philbot, which had been conceived by Sean James, a Microsoft employee with an US Navy background.

Having worked in a submarine, he knows how these set ups work and has been able to provide Microsoft with details on how undersea data centers should help.

According to him, this data center should be able to support at least places within a 200 km radius, would have a life of 20 years, and would be recycled once the life ends. The centers would be upgraded once in 5 years with the latest technology and be sent to sea again.

They would also be environmentally more friendly, since there would be lesser emissions. The company would carry out more tests with the Leona Philbot next year at Florida, after which more results are expected.