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How did Microsoft’s data center do underwater for two years?

Answer: Really well, apparently.

by / September 17, 2020

Remember when Microsoft put a data center in the ocean two years ago? 2020 has made it feel like 2018 happened at least 10 years ago, but somehow it’s only been two. The good news though is that not only did Microsoft’s data center survive those two years submersed in the sea off the coast of Scotland, it performed better than most land data centers over the same period of time.

The shipping-container-like data center was eight times more reliable than land-based centers, with a noticeably lower failure rate. The project researchers believe one of the reasons for this was that the center was filled with dry nitrogen rather than oxygen, which is more corrosive. There was also a lack of the human element — no one entering the data center who might accidentally damage something.

Overall the experiment appears to have been a success, and the findings are currently being applied to land-based data centers. Business Insider reports that Microsoft is even considering the possibility of putting all its cloud services on underwater data centers in the future.

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