Google patents (sea) green data center

Google's next data centers may just run on ocean water, literally. The company won the patent it sought last year for a floating data center that's powered and cooled on seawater. And that means it's one step closer to building a truly green, self-sufficient data center.

As Virtualization Journal's Maureen O'Gara reports, the new patent, #7,525,207, is for "a seaborne floating data center to be housed on a cargo ship three to seven miles offshore that would be cooled by ocean waters and powered by a Pelamis wave-based electrical generator."

The data center would consist of several crane-removable containers, much like the traditional land-based center highlighted in this video, and would come equipped with seawater-to-freshwater heat exchanges and wind turbines.

While the new center will still require some kind of land-based network connection, it would save on pretty much all other costs, including power, water and property taxes. Still, as the crew of the Maersk Alabama learned all too well, the ocean isn't the safest place to do business. (No word on whether Google's floating data center will deploy armed guards to defend against pirates.)

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