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Why Microsoft Has Underwater Data Centers

Eight million data centres around the world are processing our entire online lives thousands of times a second, but Microsoft may have just rewritten this growing industry, and it may be for the better.

With our reliance on cloud based services expected to be at an all time high in 2021 due to a huge shift online pushed forward by the ongoing pandemic, the need for the most energy and time efficient data centres is crucial moving forward. Microsoft has just reached the end of a two year stage two experiment, sinking our data to the ocean floor, and here"s why this is big news.

On 9 July 2020, the tech giant reeled up what it calls its "Northern Isles," a 12.2 metre long steel cylinder, from the seabed. The giant tube remained 117 feet below the surface for 2 whole years, gathering data which would later be analysed by engineers.

The company chose to locate this long term experiment 10 miles off the coast of Scotland in the Orkney Islands archipelago. Here, 100% of the energy comes from environmentally green sources such as wind and solar.

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