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Microsoft Underwater

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No, the most well-known tech company in the world is not struggling or in trouble.  Microsoft recent went underwater, literally, to see how cloud computing fares under the sea.

Datacenters are terribly inefficient.  They require a lot of power to run, but it also takes a lot of power to keep them cool.  They're usually built where land is cheap and water isn't needed as much.  Someone at Microsoft had an idea that, in retrospect, seems like a no-brainer.  Why not put datacenters under the sea?  Ocean currents can be harnessed to power them and the temperature is always cooler.

What was the outcome of this experiment?  It went so well that Microsoft kept the specialized datacenter underwater for 75 days longer than they planned.  They were able to run the servers faster because they were able to stay cooler.  It went so well that Microsoft actually started using it for customers.

In the next phase of testing, they're going to test a datacenter four times larger than the last one and this time they're going to attach turbines to the container to use the latent power of the ocean to help run it.

Currently, creating datacenters usually takes about two years.  Microsoft hopes that if it goes well and catches on, they'll be able to create manufacturing centers that can crank out underwater datacenter pods every 90 days or so.

And the environmental impact?  One would think the heat and noise of the datacenters would disturb marine life, but Microsoft says that since the pods will be powered by the ocean itself, the heat signature will be neutral.  They also say that the noise was actually drowned out by local sea life.

Considering the speed, energy and space advantages of putting datacenters in the ocean, this is one promising future tech. 

Check out Microsoft's video of their underwater datacenters below.