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A new report from CNET indicates that Google might just constructing a floating data center on San Francisco Bay. The four story tall structure hasn't been officially linked to Google, but the news site has come up with some evidence which indicates that the Internet giant is working on a secret data center.
A similar structure was spotted on a barge into harbor in Portland, Maine, about two weeks ago, according to Mashable. There's speculation that it might have something to do with a patent for floating data centers that was granted to Google in 2009. The patent also detailed that the data center would be powered by ocean currents.
If this does indeed turn out to be true, what advantages could off shore data centers offer Google? For starters, there are theories that the data centers will be cooled using ocean water, thereby saving the company millions in costs. Apart from this, if the barge is floating on neutral waters, it also means that it could be out of reach to American agencies like the NSA.
Keeping that data in oceans has the potential to save Google a lot of money since running server farms is very, very expensive business.
The move makes a lot of sense since data centers cost Internet companies several millions each year in power costs. With increasing costs of power globally and a rising need for more and more server farms to deal with an exploding rate of data, finding an alternative to traditional practices is essential and it seems that Google has done just that.