Google ponders offshore data center

Tom Marcinko @ 10-09-2008

fortsIt sounds like something Bruce Sterling foresaw as long ago as Islands in the Net: Larry Dignan on ZDNet looks at a patent for a structure that would sit offshore like an oil rig:

Google is pondering a floating data center that could be powered and cooled by the ocean. These offshore data centers could sit 3 to 7 miles offshore and reside in about 50 to 70 meters of water.

….Now wild-cards abound. Jurisdiction issues will occur. Are states really going to allow Google or anyone else place these pontoons offshore without some tax hit?

And will Google take advantage of such a setup to bank your data like the Swiss bank money?

[Rusting sea forts in the Thames estuary photographed by phault; story tip: Gregory Frost]

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6 Responses to “Google ponders offshore data center”

  1. Charleson Mambo says:

    “Cooled by the ocean”?

    So, they ARE trying to boil the oceans after all.

  2. Justin says:

    Data center =/= data haven. If today’s Google bowed to the pressure of China regarding censorship, I think that – minus some shift in corporate culture – a semi-autonomous GoogleHaven is unlikely.

  3. Tom Marcinko says:

    I know, Justin… “don’t be evil” only goes so far.

    The few stories I can recall about data havens seem to accentuate the positive. It’d be interesting to explore the down side. Certainly not everybody who banks in Switzerland is what we would call nice. So …

  4. Paul Raven says:

    Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon looks a little at the idea of autonomous datahavens towards the end, IIRC.

  5. JustinP says:

    @Tom – I wrote an essay on the subject for my undergraduate degree, which might be of interest.

  6. Tom Marcinko says:

    Justin, anything that quotes Sterling AND Captain Jack Sparrow has got to be bookmarked and looked at more closely.

    Story ideas herein, folks. Thanks for the link, Justin.