Microsoft has sunk a data centre off the coast of Orkney Island in the North Sea as part of a "moonshot research effort" to make the internet eco-friendlier. The purpose of placing the data centre underwater is to lower the energy cost it takes to cool the servers, while Orkney Island was chosen as the location because of its relatively low sea temperatures and the fact it is home to pioneering renewable energy research.
One of the biggest challenges for the engineers involved in Project Natick has been building a data centre that needs no maintenance while in operation, as if anything goes wrong it will need to be resurfaced in order to fix.
The Orkney data centre will be monitored for the next 12 months to judge the future feasibility of the project.
The centre is a 40ft (12.2m) long white cylinder containing 864 servers which is enough to store five million movies and could be left in the sea for up to five years. Cindy Rose, chief executive of the technology giant, said: "Microsoft is exploring the idea that data centres - essentially the backbone of the internet - can be based on the sea floor.