Briefing Report

Underwater data centers: lessons from the deep

Unmanned and highly densified data centers are likely to become more common over the next decade. Underwater data center (UDC) providers are already building these facilities, which offer many unique benefits — albeit with their own set of challenges. This report investigates use cases that may benefit from UDCs in the short term, and how future facility designs on land can incorporate the lessons learned.


  • UDCs represent the leading edge of “lights out” unmanned operations, combined with strong IT densification and heat rejection into water — and may help developers sidestep the competition for scarce land.
  • UDCs face several challenges, particularly in equipment maintenance. Viable real-world use cases are not easy to identify, partly because the names of current customers for UDCs remain confidential and are difficult to verify.
  • Uptime Intelligence expects most UDCs to serve non-critical workloads or support larger distributed software resiliency schemes, where a service can tolerate hardware failures.
  • UDCs may serve as a testing ground for innovative engineering that could refine future facility designs deployed across all locations and environments.

Request an evaluation to view this report

Apply for a four-week evaluation of Uptime Intelligence; the leading source of research, insight and data-driven analysis focused on digital infrastructure.