In June, Microsoft announced that it had placed a self-sufficient, waterproof data center off the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The data center, loaded with 864 servers capable of handling 27.6 petabytes of data, represented the culmination of nearly four years of research and development on the project, codenamed Natick.
The underwater data center is the first of its kind. It’s a proof of concept that aims to cut down on one of the biggest costs of running a data center on land—cooling—and can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world.
Due to the experimental nature of the project, however, Microsoft needed to keep a close eye on its pilot project. In order to monitor the environmental conditions around the tank, it placed two cameras nearby that livestream from the bottom of the ocean 24/7.
It’s pretty surreal to watch schools of fish congregate around the datacenter. It’s like a vision of the future where all of our actual reefs have been destroyed due to climate change and the barren ocean bottom is populated only by data centers.
That future might not be too far off, but for now you can watch the live streams here.