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Ship-Borne Floating Data Centers arrive

by on14 January 2008

Next big trend in disaster recovery?

International Data Security (IDS), a U.S. start-up, the brainchild of its CEO, Ken Choi, and ex-U.S. Navy Admiral and President, Richard Naughton, presents a novel concept in functionality and recycling. IDS is a privately held company that plans to open an initial 50 onboard floating data centers in April that will be located inside “recycled” decommissioned cargo container ships. 

Initially located in San Francisco at Pier 50, the data centers are said to be easier to get up and going than land sites, and to also be more environmentally green. A big plus is that the cargo ships are being re-used, rather than left to sit and rust in a harbor someplace after being scrapped for parts.

IDS plans to launch its fleet of 50 ships that it has purchased and will moor them in various ports.  IDS plans to have 22 of the container ships stationed around the U.S. coastline and 28 in other global locations. The data centers will be constructed within the cargo space and could also be housed within shipping containers stacked on deck.

Since these are very large ships, it is estimated that each ship could offer potential data center space of at least 200,000 square feet.  The power and network connections will be run out to the moored ships from land by cables.

Having portable data centers that are movable is a novel idea for disaster recovery centers.  In the event of emergency or natural disaster situations the ability to get a data center up and running and transported near the area in need is critical.  Off-shore cargo container ships could prove very useful in these types of situations. IDS claims that its power demands can be supplemented by on-ship generators running a bio-diesel supply that can potentially provide emergency data support during sustained power outages. 

Sea water can reportedly be used to cool the air conditioning needed for inside the data centers and the heat exhausted from the data centers will be recycled to heat the quarters of the ship, at a claimed 30 to 40 percent energy savings overall. To help reduce the demands on the cooling system for the generators and data containers, sea water will also be used to cool the air-conditioning towers, with a 30%-40% power reduction expected.

Read more here.



Last modified on 14 January 2008
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