Update: Data Centers on Cargo Ships

IDS, which plans to build a fleet of data centers on cargo ships, is reportedly "in the final stages of due-diligence with their funding."

Remember International Data Security (IDS), the startup hoping to build a fleet of data centers on cargo ships? In January the San Francisco-based company said it was planning to build up to 50 data centers on de-commissioned cargo ships, including 22 in North America.

The first of these ship-based colocation facilities was to debut in April in San Francisco, according to Ken Jamaca of Silverback Migration Solutions, who has provided much of the public information about IDS through his company's blog. But that timetable has clearly slipped. Earlier this year IDS launched a web site at idsstar.com, with most of the content behind a login. (The web site was offline for a while, but is now back).

Jamaca has now posted an update, saying IDS "is currently in the final stages of due-diligence with their funding and they claim the first vessel will be operational in late Q3 2008."


Jamaca says he has been working with representatives from IDS and Rackable as they prepare the company's first vessel for customers. IDS plans to develop the below-deck areas as data center space, and use deck space to house container-based data centers (apparently Rackable's ICE Cube). Plans call for IDS to use biodiesel to power its generators and use heat from equipment to manage temperature on board the ships, reducing their reliance on grid power.

IDS is led by CEO Ken Choi and President Richard Naughton. Choi is also CEO of Quantum Route, a Mountain View, Calif. company specializing in RFID technology. Naughton is a former Navy admiral.

Will this ambitious plan float? It remains to be seen if the funding will come through. The first ship-based data center will reportedly be moored at Pier 50 in San Francisco.