Posted By Rich Miller On September 6, 2008 @ 4:49 pm In Google | 56 Comments
The data centers may be employed with the computers inside standard shipping containers to make them more portable (e.g., capable of being hauled to the boat or by a truck). The data centers may be constructed modularly in areas having low costs, and may be transported to locations needing communications support relatively quickly. The data centers may be offloaded to areas where a more permanent presence is needed, and may also be connected to the motion-powered machines after such offloading, freeing the ship to deploy to another area. Also, data centers, when in the form of shipping containers, may be quickly traded out when technology changes. Modularization also makes maintenance simpler; hardware that is corroded or worn out from the harsh salt water environment can be easily replaced with fresh hardware by swapping containersGoogle says the data center containers could be stacked two or more high, so that each data barge could hold “12 or more” containers. The patent filing says the data centers would be located 3 to 7 miles offshore, which may signal that Google’s interest in undersea cables goes beyond connectivity between land-based data centers. While the floating data centers would include power and cooling, they would still require industrial strength connectivity. Earlier this year Google said it would partner with five other companies in building an undersea communications cable across the Pacific, which could provide high-speed connectivity to new Google data centers in Asia. Google said it would use signaling mechanisms such as strobing lights, flags, and horns to alert other ships of the existence and location of its data centers. The offshore location also raises interesting questions about jurisdiction, and which laws would govern the handling of any consumer data managed from the floating data centers. U.S. territorial waters typically extend 12 nautical miles, but other nations’ claims range from 3 miles (Singapore) to 200 miles . The offshore location also differentiates Google’s plans from those announced by IDS, which plans to build up to 50 data centers on de-commissioned cargo ships moored at piers in major cities.
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URL to article: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/09/06/google-planning-offshore-data-barges/
URLs in this post:
 patent: http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220080209234%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20080209234&RS=DN/20080209234
 Slashdot: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/06/1755216
 data centers on cargo ships: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/01/08/data-centers-on-cargo-ships/
 Pelamis units: http://www.pelamiswave.com/index.php
 portable data center: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2007/Oct/09/google_patents_portable_data_centers.html
 had been discontinued: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2007/Nov/28/did_google_shelve_its_portable_data_center.html
 undersea communications cable : http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/02/25/google-confirms-trans-pacific-cable-plan/
 Rich Miller: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/author/richm/
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