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Microsoft just put a massive data center under the sea

Searching for sunken treasure? Try looking for a massive data center instead.

Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.29% on Wednesday announced that it has installed a massive data center prototype on the seafloor near Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The data center is a 40-foot-long, submarine-like structure that can hold 864 servers. It was assembled and tested in France and shipped on a flatbed truck to Scotland, where it was attached to a ballast-filled triangular base for deployment on the seabed. Microsoft says its data center can operate for up to five years without needing maintenance.

So why place the data center underwater? For one, it’s easy to keep that many servers naturally cool when they exist under the sea (many data centers on land use large amounts of electricity to keep them cool).

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