Microsoft Deploys Experimental Undersea Data Center Off the Coast of Scotland’s Orkney Islands

June 8, 2018
This is one of the most interesting projects we have stumbled across this year and the video does a great job of explaining where Microsoft is going with its experimental underwater data centers.

Scotland has become a center of offshore renewable research and reality. Scotland’s European Marine Energy Centre is working on experimental tidal turbines and wave energy converters and the country has quite a few offshore wind farms.

Microsoft is working on an interesting offshore project in Scotland with the June 7 deployment of Project Natick’s underwater data center that uses sea water to cool its circuitry. In a post at, John Roach explains how Microsoft is using technology from submarines to “develop self-sufficient underwater data centers that can deliver lightning-quick cloud services to coastal cities.” Roach reported that an experimental, shipping-container-size prototype is now “processing workloads on the seafloor near Scotland’s Orkney Islands.”

“More than half of the world’s population lives within about 120 miles of the coast,” he wrote. “By putting data centers 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.”

His article said Project Natick’s 40-foot long data center is loaded with 12 racks containing a total of 864 servers and associated cooling system infrastructure. Check out the video below when you have a few minutes.