Microsoft’s Underwater Server Experiment Resurfaces After Two Years. Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. It’s objective is to empower every people to achieve more. According to Wikipedia, the company is a multinational computer technology corporation based in Redmond, Washington.
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Microsoft sank a data Centre off the coast of Orkney in a wild experiment, two years ago. It was reported that the data Centre has resurfaced. Read the section under for details.
Microsoft’s Underwater Server Experiment Resurfaces After Two Years
According to BBC the Server Experiment has now been retrieved from the ocean floor, and Microsoft researchers are assessing how it has performed, and what they can learn from it about energy efficiency.
The first conclusion is that the cylinder packed with servers had a lower failure rate than a conventional data Centre. When the container was hauled off the seabed around half a mile offshore after being placed there in 2018. It was just 8 out of the 855 servers on board had failed.
It was compared very well a conventional data Centre. Ben Cutler, who led Project Natick says “ our failure rate in the water is one-eight of what we see on land.”
However, the team is speculating that the greater reliability may be connected to the fact that there were no humans on board, and that the nitrogen rather than oxygen was pumped into the capsule.
Mr Cutler says “we think it has to do with this nitrogen atmosphere that reduces corrosion and is cool, and people not banging things around.” Orkney was chosen for the trial by Microsoft, party because it was a centre for renewable energy research in a place where the climate was temperate and even chilly. The idea was that if they were underwater the cost of cooling computers would be lower.
The Cylinder came up from the cold waters with a coating of algae, barnacles and sea anemones after a day-long operation. But the data Centre was functioning well inside and is now being examined closely to enable the research team can learn more. Thus, as more data is stored in the cloud, there is growing concern about the vast energy demands of data centres.
About Project Natick
Project Natick was partly about working out whether clusters of small underwater data centres for short-term use might be a commercial proposition, but also an attempt to learn broader lessons about energy efficiency in cloud computing. All of Orkney’s electricity comes from wind and solar power, but there were no issues in keeping the underwater data Centre supplied with power.
One of the technical team on Project Natick, Spencer Flowers says” We have been able to run really well on what most land-based data centres consider an unreliable grid. We are hopeful that we can look at our findings and say maybe we don’t need to have quite as much infrastructure focused on power and reliability.”
Underwater data centres might sound an outlandish idea. However, David Ross, who has been a consultant to the Data Centre industry for many years, says the project has great potential. He believes that an organization facing natural disasters or a terrorist attack might find it attractive. Thus “ you could effectively move something to a more secure location without having all the huge infrastructure costs of constructing a building. It’s flexible and cost-effective.”
Ms is cautious about saying when an underwater data Centre might be a commercial product, but it has proved that the idea has value.
Ben Cluster says “ we think that we’re past the point where this is a science experiment.”
The Orkney experiment is finally over, but hopes it’s result will be more environmentally friendly data storage, both underwater and on land.