by Gary Woods
It was recently discovered that Google filed in February 2007 for a patent which indicates that they are going to establish large data centers at sea. This is a very intriguing idea which could open up a whole, dare I say it "raft" of possibilities.
By using ships to house computing centers just three to seven miles off shore, the company could save big on real estate costs and could harness the ocean to both generate electricity with a Pelamis Wave Energy Converter and provide cooling for the hot hardware.
The company which could power the whole enterprise is Pelamis Wave Power Ltd which is the manufacturer of a unique system to generate renewable electricity from ocean waves. Pelamis was the world's first commercial scale machine to generate electricity into the grid from off shore wave energy and the first to be used in a commercial farm project.
By having the data centers at sea the ships could be easily moved around according to the current needs of the company. One very interesting aspect of the patent application is that it describes a modular design using cargo containers that would make it possible to add and remove computing resources. This means that not only could Google physically move the data from place to place it could also expand and contract the operational capabilities almost at will.
Google continues to push the boundaries of data accumulation, storage and transmission and now they will even be able to do it in the middle of the ocean.
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Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc