“Water-based data center”


Yeah, this is an ore carrier at the Soo Locks, but it fits the topic. Yeah, loosely. But.

They’re not much for resting on their laurels over at Google. Ashlee Vance at the NYTimes reports (blogs) that Google has taken out a patent on a floating data center, essentially allowing them to avoid the real estate market by mooring servers mounted in containers offshore, yet near demand centers (I’m assuming, for example, New York City, LA, and maybe even Chicago and St. Louis).

Just off the top of my head, I have two questions. One: power; as I understand it servers are power hogs, so will they pair the server-barges with wind turbine farms? Two: bad weather—hurricanes, ice storms—seems like the potential for service interruption is extremely high under certain conditions.

Still, interesting.


  1. Robert says:

    Unrelated to the topic, but the Block name reminded me of the ’70’s when my brother worked on the L.E. Block, the flag ship of the Block ore carrier line. My other brother silk screened a t-shirt that said “Solid as a Rock, The S.S. L.E. Block” with a picture of it sinking. I don’t think it sank, at least not while my brother worked on it!

  2. Mary Jo says:

    The previous comment was from me, Mary Jo, not Robert!