Microsoft is committed to advancing technology. In order to do so, last year Microsoft researched along the Central Coast to learn more about the possibility of keeping data centers cooler for a lower cost (and hopefully providing increased Web speeds eventually) by placing them underwater.
You may be thinking: “Electronics under water? Are you crazy?!”
However, Microsoft thinks there may be a safe way to do so off Avila Beach’s Cal Poly Pier. Chosen for testing because it’s a section of beach that is not open to the public; this beach additionally has a built-in industrial electrical system in place for marine research. The team tested the possibility of sinking computer equipment and a data center tester in a 38,000-pound container, which was submerged in 30 feet of water for almost 3 and a half months. This large container (roughly 10’ x 7’) is able to hold the equivalent of 300 computers worth of cloud servers. The idea of being able to house data centers in deep, cool water is beneficial because they generate a monumental amount of heat and require expensive cooling systems.
Another reason Microsoft decided to research this possibility is the possibility of providing speedy data transmission to the public. Microsoft reports that “more than half of the world’s population lives by the coast;” therefore, having data centers located underwater and off the coast would provide better access.
The chilly water holds the possibility to drastically reduce the costs associated with keeping the devices cool; however, it has to be accomplished without damage to the devices. There is no further information on whether more research has been conducted, but it’s always good to keep thinking forward in the tech world. We do know one thing for sure, in reference to Microsoft’s widely popular video game, Halo, the capsule was dubbed Leona Philpot (ironically identifying as a character who brakes her neck when she dives into a pool).
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