Microsoft has just announced the deployment of Phase two of Project Natick, a moonshot research effort to build and deploy an underwater datacenter. Datacenters are the backbone of the internet and as demand for datacenter resources across the computing industry grows exponentially, tech companies are searching for a solution to data storage that provides both the speed customers expect and solutions that are more environmentally sustainable.
Microsoft’s Project Natick could herald a new wave of datacenters that can be deployed rapidly and inexpensively while increasing data speeds along coastal regions. More than half of the world’s population lives within about 120 miles of the coast. By putting datacenters in bodies of water near coastal cities, data would have a short distance to travel to reach coastal communities, leading to fast and smooth web surfing, video streaming and game playing as well as authentic experiences for AI-driven technologies.
Over the next 12 months, the Project Natick team will monitor and record the performance of the datacenter. Phase one of Project Natick showed the underwater datacenter concept is feasible; Phase two is focused on researching whether the concept is logistically, environmentally and economically practical.
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