google and the data center in a shipping container

Below, one of the oldest digital camera images I have, taken in 1999 back in Long Beach, California. I’m not sure anymore if the camera I took it with was a digital camera or a video camera which could take photographs. Either way it was a long time ago. Eight years today is a long time ago…

shipping containers

But on to today’s post. As any regular reader of Slashdot knows, Google (founded in 1998… when hotwired and altavista were the search engines to beat) announced it had patented the concept of a modular data center in a shipping container. See here.

While architects fetishize the shipping container as a building block for quasi-prefab residential structures, Google suggests that the shipping container is much more interesting when it is full and when it can be anywhere.

Although, as the Slashdot article points out, the USPTO has proven itself incapable of addressing the contemporary moment yet again (Brewster Kahle came up with the concept and gave it to the public domain in 2003), Google’s interest in the idea is nevertheless interesting, as is its suggestion that the data center holds a key advantage in that during economic downturns, it can move somewhere else. Imagine the local authorities’ reaction when the petabyte shipping containers begin to migrate to another place. Or for that matter, imagine a Quartzsite of data centers in shipping containers. Is this a final end-condition for the human project?

Below, one of the oldest digital camera images I have, taken in 1999 back in Long Beach, California. I’m not sure anymore if the camera I took it with was a digital camera or a video camera which could take photographs. Either way it was a long time ago. Eight years today is a long time ago…

shipping containers

But on to today’s post. As any regular reader of Slashdot knows, Google (founded in 1998… when hotwired and altavista were the search engines to beat) announced it had patented the concept of a modular data center in a shipping container. See here.

While architects fetishize the shipping container as a building block for quasi-prefab residential structures, Google suggests that the shipping container is much more interesting when it is full and when it can be anywhere.

Although, as the Slashdot article points out, the USPTO has proven itself incapable of addressing the contemporary moment yet again (Brewster Kahle came up with the concept and gave it to the public domain in 2003), Google’s interest in the idea is nevertheless interesting, as is its suggestion that the data center holds a key advantage in that during economic downturns, it can move somewhere else. Imagine the local authorities’ reaction when the petabyte shipping containers begin to migrate to another place. Or for that matter, imagine a Quartzsite of data centers in shipping containers. Is this a final end-condition for the human project?

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