I read with great interest this week in BBC about 2 mysterious barges off the East and West coasts of the U.S.
One barge is by San Francisco and the other by Maine.
The 4-story barges belong to Google.
There is speculation about these being, maybe, floating data centers.
I think that is more likely than showrooms for Google Glass.
These barges would potentially avail themselves of the ocean water for cooling the IT equipment.
I would imagine that there could be some backup and recovery strategy here as well associated with their terrestrial data centers.
But how you protect these floating data behemoths is another story.
A white paper by Emerson has data center energy consumption in the 25% range for cooling systems and another 12% for air movement, totaling 37%.
Other interesting new ideas for reducing energy consumption for data center cooling include submersion cooling.
For example, Green Revolution (GR) Cooling is one of the pioneers in this area.
They turn the server rack on its back and the servers are inserted vertically into a dielectric (an electrical insulator--yes, I had to look that up) cooling mineral oil.
In this video, the founder of GR identifies the potential cost-savings including eliminating chillers and raised floors as well as a overall 45% reduction in energy consumption, (although I am not clear how that jives with the 37% energy consumption of cooling to begin with).
Intuitively, one of the trickiest aspect to this would be the maintenance of the equipment, but there is a GR video that shows how to do this as well--and the instructions even states in good jest that the "gloves are optional."
One of my favorite aspects of submersion cooling aside from the environmental aspects and cost-savings is the very cool green tint in the server racks that looks so alien and futuristic.
Turn down the lights and imagine you are on a ship traveling the universe, or maybe just on the Google ship not that far away. ;-)
(Source Photo: Green Revolution)