Google envisions future of floating, blue-green data centers

Google logoGoogle has been granted its patent for a data center that floats on the ocean. Though the patent mostly describes how such a thing would work, it also addresses the use of wave and tidal power, as well as water cooling to even land-based data centers that are nearby.

The future of data centers appears to be a move from the land to the sea, with power coming from the movement of the water and cooling coming directly from the ocean. Google was granted a patent for a floating data center this week, allowing it to license out the technology to third parties if it should so choose.

Google's application for a "Water-based data center" patent was filed in February of 2007 and published late last year. It describes "a floating platform-mounted computer data center comprising a plurality of computing units, a sea-based electrical generator in electrical connection with the plurality of computing units, and one or more sea-water cooling units for providing cooling to the plurality of computing units."

The majority of the patent deals with the logistics of ship-based data centers, though it also examines the use of wave power, tidal power, and seawater for providing electricity and cooling to land-based data centers that are close enough to water.

Of course, there's nothing to stop Google from deploying a floating data center powered by conventional fuel sources, but such a vessel would be more limited by range or fuel capacity. Not only would it have to carry enough fuel to power itself, it would also have to make sure to power the systems it carries. Using a water-based generator would not only be more practical and efficient, it's also a significantly greener solution.

Despite the patent, however, Google may not be the first company to send its data centers out to sea. A Silicon Valley startup called International Data Security (IDS) announced in January of 2008 its intent to set up a fleet of data-serving cargo ships. These ships would not only come with standard storage services, but also with amenities such as private offices, overnight accommodations, and galley services. The first ship was scheduled to set sail (or rather, hang out in San Francisco's Pier 50) in April of 2008, but according to a blog post by IDS partner Silverback Migration Solutions, that plan got pushed to third quarter 2008 and we were unable to find any further information on the project.

Silverback acknowledged Google's patent in September, however, noting that IDS and Google appear to be planning different implementations of the floating data center. If that's the case, then it's likely that the two won't be stepping on each other's toes. However, if other companies decide to implement floating solutions similar to Google's in the future, they may find themselves having to pay licensing fees. Given the current economic climate, though, let's just say we don't expect to see a mass data center exodus to the ocean anytime in the near future.

Source: ars technica

Tags: Google, Google+

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (16)