Microsoft plans to create artificial reef datacenters

Microsoft plans to create artificial reef datacenters

The beautiful coral reefs around the world are being destroyed. Along with them, aquatic species indigenous to reefs will also go extinct. But not if Microsoft has a say about it. The tech giant has come up with an interesting solution.

Patented Technology

In a recently published patent, Microsoft’s plans to build an artificial reef datacenter have emerged. The datacenter will promote marine life and attract growth of aquatic species that inhabit reefs.

The datacenter will also provide an artificial heat source for aquatic dwellers, and also disperse nutrients in the surrounding environment. The datacenter will also incorporate design and structure leading for settlement of marine life. The data-center will also emit an almost negligible heat differential in the surrounding environment, and thus support a natural growth of diverse reef life. The datacenter will be deployed relatively close to potential customers, will also take advantage of sustainable power from the ocean. The datacenter will also use the water as a heat sink to effectively dispel any heat.

Technical Details

The datacenter will be modular, with the modules submerged and rested on the floor of a body of water. The modularity will help in sizing the datacenter for different marine populations by adding a required number of modules. The modules will be sunk by attaching weights or adding water to a ballast tank included in the modules. The weight will also be removable to replace a module if needed. The modules will also include anchors to anchor and stabilize the modules at a place.

The datacenter will attract, promote, and enhance marine life. The datacenter will also include components like treated surfaces, vertical structures, clamshell structures, and crevices to promote marine reef life. The temperature of the surfaces of the datacenter will also be similar to surrounding water to promote the growth of marine life. The datacenter will also include vertical required for seed plankton and other marine life. The datacenter will also include roughened or treated surfaces to allow microscopic life, such as algae and bacteria to grow in the datacenter and attract next stage predators on the food chain.



Coral reefs are called the rainforests of the sea. They are homes to a vast number of aquatic species and have high production yield. While covering less than one percent of the ocean floor, reefs support around estimated twenty-five percent of all marine life.

Reef structures also act as natural breakwaters, minimizing wave impacts from storms such as cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons.

The beauty of coral reefs makes them a powerful attraction for tourism, which provides a sustainable means of earning foreign currency and employment for people around the world, especially in countries with almost no natural resources.

One estimate places the total global value of coral-reef based recreation and tourism at $9.6 billion of the total global net benefit of coral reefs.

However, due to climate change, destructive fishing practices including overfishing, careless tourism, and pollution, roughly one-quarter of coral reefs worldwide are already considered damaged beyond repair. Another two-thirds of reefs are under serious threat.

Microsoft and other tech giants using this technology will definitely aid in tipping the scales the right way and allow regeneration of reefs.

Patent Information
Publication Number: US20180352680A9
Patent Title: Artificial reef datacenter
Publication date: 2018-12-06
Filing date: 2016-05-27
Inventors: Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC
Assignee: Benjamin F. Cutler, Norman Ashton Whitaker, Spencer G. Fowers, Jeffrey Alex Kramer