Posted By Rich Miller On November 28, 2007 @ 7:14 am In Google | Comments Disabled
Google (GOOG) made some headlines last month when it was awarded a U.S. patent for a portable data center  in a shipping container, prompting discussion of how it might use a “data center in a box,” as well as what the patent might mean for similar products from Sun Microsystems (JAVAD) and Rackable (RACK). Google’s interest in containerized data centers have been the focus of much speculation since PBS columnist Robert X. Cringley  wrote about the effort in 2005.
It turns out that one of the inventors listed on the Google patent, William Whitted, has said publicly that the portable data center project has been discontinued. Whitted, who retired from Google in 2005, spoke about the project in a San Francisco Chronicle story  in January of this year. Whitted’s comments were part of a much longer profile about Google retirees, and weren’t widely noticed at the time. Here’s what the Chron reported:
“One of the ideas (Whitted) championed was to build portable data centers in cargo containers, a project Google tested in its headquarters parking lot. But managers were too timid to pack in enough servers, so the experiment was not cost-effective and was ultimately canceled, he said.”
We doubt this will end speculation about Google’s portable data centers, but it’s a data point worth noting.
Article printed from Data Center Knowledge: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com
URL to article: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2007/11/28/did-google-shelve-its-portable-data-center/
URLs in this post:
 patent for a portable data center: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2007/Oct/09/google_patents_portable_data_centers.html
 Robert X. Cringley: http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2005/pulpit_20051117_000873.html
 San Francisco Chronicle story: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/01/07/MNGA7NEDQ01.DTL
 Rich Miller: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/author/richm/
Copyright © 2012 Data Center Knowledge. All rights reserved.