Looks like Google isn’t alone with its idea to float a data center on the sea. Om Malik points out a stealthy startup called International Data Security, which plans to build 50 sea-worthy data centers, and potentially dock its first data center ship at Pier 50 in San Francisco.
Google had several aims for its floating data center: bring the hardware closer to users to cut down on long distance connection costs, offer alternative deployment of data centers in remote areas like war and natural disaster zones, and potentially power the data centers with the movement of the waves and offshore wind (here’s 13 companies building machines to tap sea-power). It’s not clear what IDS’s goals are, but in San Francisco real estate prices could mean a data center on the Bay is cheaper to house and the connections to many potential customers are shorter than, say, building a data center north of the city in Sacramento. As Om notes there could be lower cooling costs, too, on the waterfront.
Though we’d be surprised if IDS was going to be aggressive on using any of the wave turbines on the market to power its data center — the technology is very early and just going into pilot tests. But here’s an idea for IDS: your floating data center could be a good place to let a company test out its wave power technology, and we’re betting San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom would be willing to offer up some green city incentives if so. Just a thought.