Two years ago, Microsoft sank a data centre off the coast of Orkney in a wild experiment. That data centre has now been retrieved from the ocean floor, and Microsoft researchers are assessing how it has performed, and what they can learn from it about energy efficiency. From a report: Their first conclusion is that the cylinder packed with servers had a lower failure rate than a conventional data centre. When the container was hauled off the seabed around half a mile offshore after being placed there in May 2018, just eight out of the 855 servers on board had failed. That compares very well with a conventional data centre. “Our failure rate in the water is one-eighth of what we see on land,” says Ben Cutler, who has led what Microsoft calls Project Natick. The team is speculating that the greater reliability may be connected to the fact that there were no humans on board, and that nitrogen rather than oxygen was pumped into the capsule.