From giant squids to sunken treasure, the ocean has a way of hiding secrets better than any other place on Earth – so why not hide your personal information down there too? That scenario may soon be our reality, as Microsoft has unveiled that, for the past year and a half, they have been testing a prototype data center that is completely submerged underwater. Devised by Microsoft engineer Sean James, the theory argues that placing the massive server farms underwater could dramatically reduce both construction and cooling costs, as well as provide a reliable source of renewable energy and even improve their performance. Dubbed “Project Natick,” the prototype system is located 30 feet below the water’s surface off the coast of Central California. The servers have been encased in an 8-foot-diameter steel drum sealed tight with bolts and waterproof fittings. Several tubes running through the drum allow for the transfer of heat from the hot processors into the cool ocean water, while the computer chips within are cooled using liquid nitrogen.
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