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Microsoft has developed a third-generation underwater data center project


The research division of Microsoft Corporation has developed a third-generation underwater data center project as part of the Natick initiative to create data centers that use ocean water for cooling.

Recall that in 2015, Microsoft successfully tested the first prototype of an underwater data center. Then a relatively small cylinder with one server rack was placed at the bottom off the coast of California and worked for a little over a hundred days. According to the test results, the project to create full-fledged underwater data centers using sea water to cool servers was recognized as promising.

In 2018, the corporation created a larger prototype of an underwater data center. It was equivalent in size to the standard ISO container used for transporting goods. Inside were 12 server racks in which 864 servers were installed. A pipe was passed to each rack through which sea water passed. This data center was installed off the coast of one of the Orkney Islands (Scotland) at a depth of 35.5 meters. The developers noted that this prototype is designed for five years of operation and does not require intermediate maintenance.

The third-generation Natick is a multitude of cylindrical cases mounted on a large steel frame in which patch cables and power cables are laid. The length of the structure is more than 90 meters. Ballast tanks are installed on each side of the underwater data center. In the basic version, Natick 3 consists of 12 cylindrical cases (in Natick 2 one such case was used), and the total system capacity reaches 5 MW, but the modular design allows you to create larger structures, ServerNews writes .

The timing of the creation and launch of the first such data center has not yet been announced.

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