The king of innovation Google, has once again come up with a surprise that will bring a smile on the face of its vast fan base, worldwide. Although initially Google denied acceptance of ownership, the technology firm has confirmed that the “Floating data center” is owned by them. Yes, you heard it right! Google now has a complete data center infrastructure floating on a barge in San Francisco bay! Is this all hype or does it really serve a purpose? Let’s have a closer look at the details collected from various sources.
Google has always been innovating with available resources in order to maximize their profitability and productivity. This instinct has taken the company from a mere “search engine” provider to a global technological phenomenon. This instinct has lately been seen during the alpha-level launch of Google Glass technology. Google’s floating data center that stood about five stories tall, appeared on San Francisco bay last week. The structure was massive and attracted the attention of a huge crowd. Although the structure was visible to the public, access was strictly restricted and security was at maximum. The initial response from the public was that the structure was part of some “secret project”. This false notion was quickly corrected as the Coast Guard confirmed that the barge is owned by Google.
Looking back at Google’s level of innovation, the company has always preferred thinking outside the box. This trend was clearly displayed in Google’s plans to use “weather balloon” like structures to bring high speed Internet to cities and towns. On close analysis, we can understand that Google has one more core driving force behind each of their revolutionary innovations and that is “cost cutting”! This has been the same motivation behind the development of the floating barge. Here are a few facts about the floating barge:
- Floating barges minimize the hurdles of renting or purchasing real estate in the suburbs or downtown. The cost incurred would be limited to setting up a concrete barge and modern day containers in which the data center infrastructure is stored.
- Google plans to maximize the use of their virtualization technology to manage and monitor the data center. As the infrastructure is smaller in size, management overheads will be minimized too.
- The barge is expected to reduce “cooling costs” by utilizing alternate cooling mechanisms, which are cheaper. Although shipping containers are going to be more costly than conventional data center buildings, Google is expected to figure out the best solution for this concern.
- Google data centers are currently running at an 85% utilization rate which is expected to be shared by such upcoming projects.
- Such “unconventional” mechanisms are also aimed at fuelling the cloud service (SaaS) phenomenon in a big way.
- Updation of hardware and technology is easier as a new shipping container/barge can be released replacing the obsolete one.
Although there are numerous speculations and assumptions as to what the mammoth structure is, there is still no confirmation about the actual intentions and plans of Google. There are reports from KPIX5 channel that the barge is a “floating store” for Google Glass. According to the news, Google will be completing the structure at Treasure Island and then shipping the structure to Fort Mason. KPIX5 mentioned that the structure will be anchored at Fort Mason where it would be opened for public. So, all that we spectators can do is be patient and wait for the suspense to be revealed by Google…