Google's ocean datacentre plans a tad fishy?

Google's ocean datacentre plans a tad fishy?

Summary: Google has always enjoyed being secretive about its largely custom-built data centres, so I imagine there are a few furrowed brows following the widespread reports about its application for a patent to build offshore datacentres, which could draw their power from the ocean waves.

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Google has always enjoyed being secretive about its largely custom-built data centres, so I imagine there are a few furrowed brows following the widespread reports about its application for a patent to build offshore datacentres, which could draw their power from the ocean waves.

Google floating datacenter

A sketch from Google's floating datacentre patent.

On the one hand, I can see how having a datacentre in a location where only seals can visit it would help to keep it a secret. On the other hand, it's going to be a bugger getting people there for the initial fit-out — and what if the centre gets held hostage by high-tech pirates?

We're always being told about how hackers have turned into professional criminals, and there's no reason to assume that a little bit of salt water would put them off.

What makes this story really weird, though, is the assumption that ocean-based power might suffice in an era when getting sufficient power to datacentres in areas with massively well-developed infrastructure is proving increasingly problematic.

Sure, there won't be a lot of krill queuing up to charge their ultra-compact iPod Nanos, but it hardly seems like a practical scheme. As one datacentre manager said when I mentioned this to him today: "Some people just have too much time on their hands". Or maybe Google is drawing inspiration from the infamous UK pirate radio stations of the 1960s, which escaped British regulators by running offshore.

Topics: Google, Data Centers, Emerging Tech

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4 comments
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  • Looks like a joke

    Assuming that a cable connection would be required to provide the necessary bandwidth so I would have expected something like a fixed platform rather than what looks like a cargo ship.

    Now, something attached to an oil rig of the coast of Scotland might have been more believable - some serious wave power there!
    anonymous
  • Pirate Bay needa new datacentre

    Thats a new idea

    Maybe they could use a ship and place it in international waters
    anonymous
  • wake up

    This is GOOGLE

    Never assume you have the full story till your actually looking at something. Google excels at hiding information that they don't want people to see until its ready.

    Just look at the Chrome launch, no one even knew they were working on it.
    anonymous
  • floating data centre

    A floating data centre is a very good plan and can be done with a little planing.Loading the switchboards will be no problem, suppling power. a little more planing ,to make it cheap
    to run. With back up power.Cooling has to be sea water/air.or solar.any way good luck.
    anonymous