“This is not a moonshot,” says project lead Ben Cutler

In February, Microsoft‘s research arm surprised the data center community with Project Natick – an effort to develop server enclosures and related equipment that would enable the company to run cloud services from the sea bed.

This week at DCD Enterprise in New York, Microsoft announced it would expand the initiative, with larger racks placed deeper in the Pacific.

In the video above Ben Cutler, Special Projects manager at Microsoft Research and former program manager at DARPA, talks about the benefits of nautical data centers. Thy include the low cost of land on the bottom of the sea and not having people around – something that means facilities can be designed without amenities like kitchens, parking and fire exits. This approach also eliminates human error – the number one cause of data center outages.

Cutler adds that lack of access to the racks is not going to be a problem in just a few years, as long as the current trend for automation in data centers continues to develop.

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Project Natick team: Ben Cutler (green Sweatshirt), Jeff Kramer (gray sweatjacket), Spencer Fowers (orange jacket), Eric Peterson (Black Jacket) and Norm Whitaker (red jacket)