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Ship-based data centres are go

Ship-based data centres are go

IDS might have a pretty logo, but their website is conspicuous in its absence.

Relatively unknown start-up business International Data Security has a cunning ruse for getting cheap data centres up and running: they're building them on boats.

Having purchased a fleet of decommissioned cargo ships, the company is planning to retrofit them with all-singing data centres in the below-decks compartments and add additional power via shipping-container (how appropriate) style portable centres like Project Blackbox from Sun Microsystems.

The plan is certainly cunning, as it would give the company extremely dense mobile data centres which can be deployed in port space near to customers sites and then moved somewhere else as and when required. The company is initially aiming itself at the disaster recovery market, although there would be nothing – apart from the possibly prohibitive cost – to stop a company running entirely from one of the data ships as they are said to include 'private office facilities'. Presumably for people who don't get seasick.

The company is also well aware that green is in these days, and has announced that the on-board generators will run on biodiesel and that excess heat from all those terabytes and gigahertz will be pumped around the ships to ensure non of the seafaring staff get chilly.

The first ship to go live is due to be berthed at Pier 50 in San Francisco, and is expected to be switched on some time in April. For a company seemingly so close to a product launch (ho-ho), however, their web presence is surprisingly absent. In a fairly robust search the only thing I could turn up was a rather poorly designed product brochure.

Do you think floating data centres could be the next big thing, or do you think the idea is all washed up (sorry)? Discuss over in the forums.