Microsoft CEO Nadella believes that in the future there will be many underwater data centers just like the project Natick across the world. The project Natick is about Microsoft’s plan to have a 40-feet data center pod on the seafloor off the coast of Scotland.
Nadella holds a strong belief in the Natick project as he said that Natick is likely to play a crucial role in expanding the company’s presence in the global cloud computing network. He further said that in the coming years, many countries will have a data center just like the Natick. He supported his statement saying that more than 50% of the world population lives near the water bodies. Speaking at the Microsoft Future Decoded conference held in London Nadella said that the company envisions the future of the data center underwater.
Nadella believes that building data centers on the area that is close to where people live means low-latency data, real-time cloud services, and gaming. Well, these are not the only factors that Nadella emphasized while praising the Natick project. Nadella said that positioning the data centers near the place where people live will significantly improve the deployment of data centers.
Commenting on the Natick project, Nadella said that the data center was build quite rapidly and the company was able to finish its construction in no more than 90 days. The Natick project has turned out to be a proof of concept for Microsoft which helped the company in understanding the estimated time required to create a data center underwater.
Engineers involved in the project shared their views in an article published in IEEE Spectrum. The engineers stated that the shortage deployment times will enable the company to address the growing demand for enhanced capacity instead of expecting future demands. The company is planning to deploy a number of underwater pods with many servers as per the requirement.
Natick has as many as 12 racks containing 864 services. The data center is equipped with a liquid cooling system that transmits heat to the adjoining ocean. The pod is expected to last for at least five years and is expected to stay on the seabed for one year for Microsoft to observe its fares.
Commenting on the Natick, Nadella said that the underwater data-center is unique of its kind. It is self-contained and sustainable as it works on wind power. The pod is said to consume as much as a quarter of a megawatt and is linked to the Orkney Islands grid which generate electricity through renewable sources.
Before coming up with Natick, Microsoft conducted a test trial on a 30-foot Natick pod off the coast of California in 2016. The pod was used to test Azure services from the seabed. According to Nadella, the cloud platform of Azure is a world’s computer as it is present in 54 global regions with each region having multiple data centers the number is more than any other cloud provider.