Yes, you read that correctly!
Microsoft revealed details for their new and somewhat unconventional project. Project Natick is a mind boggling research endeavor with the potential of becoming the next big thing. Microsoft would be bringing the cloud computing infrastructure to the big cities near large bodies of water so that they can just install the data centers underwater.Microsoft gave details of its rationale for going underwater, explaining the idea would cut costs when it comes to keeping the data center cool, as well as be environmentally friendly and more responsive, and closer to customers.
Microsoft’s first attempt at underwater data center was tested last year around a kilometer off the California coast. The eight foot wide capsule was deployed 30 feet underwater, and it stayed submerged for almost four months. It included one data center computing rack and a number of sensors, including units that tracked humidity, water pressure, and so on.
After successful tests, the data center was sent back to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, where it was analyzed. According to Microsoft, the deployment of automated underwater data centers can take place much faster than land-based ones. While a land-based data center would take two years to build and be fully operational, Microsoft says it can deploy an underwater data center in 90 days.
At the moment is is not clear what kind of ill effects the underwater data centers might have on the marine life, but Microsoft says that during their earlier deployment of the data center capsule the local vicinity quickly adapted to the presence of the capsule. After this pilot program proves successful the Redmond company is expected to come up with large scale capsules globally.
Here is the link to the official article from Microsoft.