Batten Down the Hatches! Here Comes the First Waterborne Data Center

Josh Schaap
November 23, 2015

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What do Captain Ahab and network administrators have in common? Well, soon enough, they’ll both be responsible for maintaining ocean-bound vessels. Indeed, a startup called Nautilus Data Technologies is creating the first-ever waterborne data center, or more accurately ‘data barge.’

The creators of the data barge are hoping that it will serve as an efficient and eco-friendly solution to today’s data center power consumption challenges. In fact, the nautical data center will be cooled by the water in which it floats and is projected to engender a power usage effectiveness rating of 1.045, which is quite near its initial goal of 1. As such, the data barge may very well serve as an innovative answer to improving energy efficiency in the data center, however, its unconventional architecture comes with inherent risks.

Just consider that millions of dollars of valuable technology will be left floating in unpredictable ocean waters. That’s enough to make any network administrator a bit seasick. Without being able to continuously monitor the servers, the data barge could easily become comprised in an emergency situation. For instance, consider the consequences of the data barge suddenly losing power; all promises of maintaining uptime would simply jump ship.

To avoid devastating scenarios in your data center, whether it resides on land or sails the ocean blue, you ought to consider implementing the following solutions:

  • Fail-Safe power redundancy so you never have to worry about losing power and comprising uptime
  • Capacity planning solution such as Sentry Power Manager (SPM) to measure and monitor power efficiency at all times
  • Data center rack power management solution to ensure highest level of visibility on the rack level
'Tis the season for good deeds