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Microsoft Confirms the Closure of Its Underwater Data Center


Microsoft has confirmed that its underwater data center experiment, Project Natick, is no longer operational. Though the project was reportedly a successful proof-of-concept by Microsoft's standards, the company stopped testing its subsea prototype in 2020. It now considers the experiment officially closed.

In a report from Data Center Dynamics, Microsoft Cloud Operations + Innovation (CO+I) division head Noelle Walsh saluted Project Natick's success. "My team worked on it, and it worked," she said. "We learned a lot about operations below sea level and vibration and impacts on the server. So we'll apply those learnings to other cases."

Project Natick was Microsoft's attempt to reduce the massive cooling overhead inherent to conventional data centers. Land-based servers—the kind we currently rely on for all of our cloud and generative AI needs—require extensive air conditioning and cooling to avoid overheating. Not only is this expensive for the ...


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