Silicon Valley startup International Data Security (IDS) announced it wants to set up a fleet of data-serving cargo ships:
These floating data centers will come equipped not only with standard storage services like SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network Attached Storage), but also with amenities such as private offices, overnight accommodations, and galley services.
To save money, IDS is purchasing decommissioned ships that were scheduled to go to the scrapyard, then refurbishing them in drydock. According to founder Ken Choi, the first ship—which will also house the new IDS headquarters—is scheduled to come online in April, and it will be parked at San Francisco's Pier 50 along with its sister ships. Each ship has approximately 200,000 square feet of usable space. The company plans to deploy as many as 22 ships in North America and 50 ships worldwide.
IDS has plans to make use of the seagoing nature of their data centers for more than just Homer Simpson-esque parties in international waters. The ships will use sea water for cooling the servers, which IDS says will will eliminate the need for external cooling solutions and shave 30 percent from their total energy consumption. In addition to the standard data center backup generators, the ships will use their own built-in generators to provide additional power. During disaster scenarios, these generators can run off the ship's fuel, providing nearly a month of continuous operation. IDS says they will be able to outfit a ship and have it docked in New York or San Francisco in a matter of months.