UPDATE – IDS Ship based data centers
Hello everyone! I know many of you have been tracking “data center in a box” projects very closely. Projects like the Sun Blackbox and Rackable’s IceCube are ushering in a new trend in datacenter builds.
Several months ago I blogged about International Data Security, (IDS) and I have been working closely with Barry Prince from IDS during the last few months while IDS worked diligently to get their first ship based datacenter built and ready for customers.
Building a datacenter on a ship is not a new concept, it has been done on military vessels for decades. The military has already figured out how to secure the racks avoid damage from rolling seas, how to condition the air to removed the salt and added humidity, etc. All of these types of issues have known solutions, if you know who to ask.
Enter Vice Admiral Richard Naughton.
Admiral Naughton brings that knowledge to IDS as their President. He is well versed in outfitting large vessels with expensive, complex and often dangerous equipment. I was in a meeting with Rackable and IDS when someone asked about the affects of ship movement, and Admiral Naughton said something to the effect of, “When a destroyer gets hit by a submarine and jumps 6 feet out of the water, don’t you think I still want all of my systems still working. I need to know my systems are available to blow that SOB out of the water.”
When you put it that way, it does make sense the military would know how to build very resiliant systems. For them, it really is a matter of life and death.
The value proposition for ship based datacenters is very similar to that of land based datacenters, with a few noteable exceptions:
-Current market demand for data center space continues to outpace
supply, and using ships as data centers can reduce time to market by as
much as 65%.
-Cap-Ex costs to bring a ship into data center operation is
approximately 2/3 that of a land-based facility.
-Ships are naturally resistant from earthquakes and floods, and can
be moved to safer areas avoiding major hurricane or tornado storm damage.
-Vessel-based data centers can take advantage of their water-born
location to aid in cooling and thereby lower electrical costs. Locating
ships near electrical generation facilities lowers power loss over
transmission lines, maximizing efficiency. This makes ships a more “Green”
data center facility alternative.
-No in ground fuel tanks reduces environmental impact
-Recycling the heat from DC to heat the state rooms
-Emergency backup generators uses Bio-Diesel
-Recycle ships that would be scrapped
-More CPU cycles per kilo watt 65% or more of power goes to cpu
rather than facility
-These vessels will be located very close to major urban centers
where land cost and data center availability is problematic: customers can
quickly and efficiently update their processes and equipment without
traveling to remote areas.
-IDS marine data centers are the only data centers that provide
DRBC command centers with redundant communications, berthing and training
-Process patent filed including 22 claims for a marine based data
center with all applicable trademarks having been filed both domestically
and internationally in EU and 7 Asian countries
IDS is currently in the final stages of due-diligence with their funding
and they claim the first vessel will be operational in late Q3 2008.
So, knowing that the ships are sound, with systems and infrastructure being built by the best in the industry, and being designed for life and death situations…why WOULDN’T you want to build your datacenter environment on a ship?
That is not a rhetorical question. I am looking for someone to shoot sound holes in this plan. If you have questions or concerns about IDS’ plans for ship based datacenters, please let me know by commenting on this blog or shooting me an e-mail directly at ken-at-teamsilverback-dot-com.
If you are excited about the opportunity of building your environment on an IDS dataship, shoot me an e-mail and I can assist you in getting the ball rolling to be one of the very first civilian customers with ship based infrastructure!
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