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Monday, September 15, 2008

Google hits the high seas for data space

 In response to the growing need for data storage space, Google is planning to send  data center barges seven miles offshore (considered international waters), to  form its own "waterworld" of data.

(Altered Image courtesy of Drew Anema)

Besides the extra space, the plan could also benefit Google in two other ways-

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Eliminate property taxes

Apparently, the barges will be Eco-friendly.Google claims each barge will be powered by hydraulic energy from wave power. The provided a graphic and Google's explanation of the science behind the energy conversion.

In the patent application seen by The Times, Google writes: Computing centres are located on a ship or ships, anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away.

As outlandish as the scheme may sound, it may become a viable alternative for other companies searching for data storage solutions. The success of Ocarina, which specializes is data consolidation, is one of many indications that data hosting companies are becoming increasingly desperate for affordable and efficient space to house servers.

The prospect of offshore data centers raises a whole host of other questions, such as:

  • How much manpower will be required to secure the servers?
  • Will the U.S. government, or UN, attempt to intervene or regulate with the plan?
  •  What other methods might Google use to allocate server space?

 Keep an eye out for other companies who may follow suit and head to the seas.


By Matt O'Hern at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

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