Microsoft's Data Centre Willingly Gets in the Sea

By Gary Cutlack on at

Microsoft is doing a small token thing to make it look like it's trying hard to be environmentally sound, with the tech giant sinking a data centre into the sea off the cost of the Orkney islands to examine the benefits of using the ocean to keep its servers cool.

It is literally a drop in the ocean of global data centres, though, as only 12 racks of servers are onboard the sunken vessel. And if anything breaks it can't be fixed, as it's at the bottom of the sea. But well done for trying.

The hope is that it won't need as much fixing as a traditional data centre anyway, as the server submarine they're sinking will have most of the oxygen and moisture taken out of its atmosphere, hopefully reducing corrosion. There also won't be a man to accidentally turn it off by tripping over an extension cable or break everything by installing a pirated copy of Quake III on the wrong sector, so it should manage some good uptime.

Environmentalists worried about the servers having a direct warming effect on the sea need not worry, says Microsoft, as the company's Ben Cutler told the BBC he would expect the surrounding few metres of sea to be "a few thousandths of a degree warmer at most." [BBC]