Feeds

Google launching its own navy?

Penguin deathwatch continues

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

About 70 per cent of the Earth is covered by water. So Google's thinking it had better build some data centers that can float.

With a recently-released patent application, the search giant cum world power seeks exclusive rights to what it calls a "water-based data center". This modular collection of processing, storage, and network resources would sit on a ship anchored somewhere offshore, using the crashing waves for both power and cooling.

Google Floating Data Center

Google's floating data center

Google envisions its seaworthy data center serving land-bound humans in times of emergency. "For example," the application reads, "a military presence may be needed in an area, a natural disaster may bring a need for computing or telecommunication presence in an area until the natural infrastructure can be repaired or rebuilt, and certain events may draw thousands of people who may put a load on the local computing infrastructure.

"Often, such transient events occur near water, such as a river or an ocean. However, it can be expensive to build and locate data centers, and it is not always easy to find access to necessary (and inexpensive) electrical power, high-bandwidth data connections, and cooling water for such data centers."

Famously, Google has already patented data centers that tuck inside standard shipping containers, and these mobile modules would serve as building blocks for its water-based computer center.

Sergey and Larry might hoist their shipping containers onto that anchored ship. Or they might set them up on dry land, not too far from the waves. In either case, power could arrive from so-called Pelamis machines, Scottish-designed contraptions that convert waves into electricity. And seawater cooling units could keep all that shipping container-ed hardware from overheating.

Naturally, Google isn't the first to dream up such a thing. A company called IDS is working on its own floating hardware - though it sees things a bit differently. "IDS floating data centers will be anchored in port the majority of the time, whereas [Google's] will be positioned out at sea," reads a blog post from the company. "There [are] also some significant differences in the way sea water is used for cooling, and obviously some differences in power generation."

Of course, IDS isn't blanketing the planet with its very own built-from-scratch internet. We can safely say that Google is building its own servers, its own Ethernet switches, its own underwater comms cables, its own worldwide collection of brick and mortar data centers, and its own truck-em-anywhere-you-want-em mobile data centers. And now it looks like the company is well on its way to floating its own Data Center Navy. When we accused Larry and Serge of killing penguins, we didn't know the half of it. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.