It's one of those ideas that is just so crazy, that it just might work. I first mentioned this story back in September, when Google had applied for a patent on a floating data center. This week; patent granted by the government. Oh my! Is this more than just talk?
The vision is that Google would build "water-based data centers" at sea on ships that would be powered by hydro-electricity. Fact: Data centers require a boat load (pun intended) of electricity. Fact #2: Electricity is expensive. Fact #3: Energy generated from harnessing the power of waves and water sounds like renewable, earth friendly energy to me (dare we call it "blue energy, instead of green"?).
I have only a couple of lingering questions:
1. If Somali pirates can take the world's largest oil tanker, the Sirius Star, with a few boats and rocket launchers; then how can a floating data center be invulnerable? Imagine a rogue band of pirates (a.k.a. terrorists) getting hold of Google's data?
2. What can Google do or not do with our data in International waters beyond the reach of sovereign nations?
Last updated: May 1, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio