Data center facilities are heading out to sea

Data center facilities will no longer be restricted to land. A startup called Nautilus Data Technologies is currently constructing five data vessels in various places along the U.S. coast. Their first floating vessel will be docked on a 250-foot barge about 20 miles northeast of San Francisco at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. It's a radical idea for the startup in an industry that's been notoriously conservative.

However, despite the conventional nature of data center facilities, Nautilus believes their new technology will not only be warmly accepted, but also have the potential to change the industry forever. For coastal states that are drought stricken, like California, Nautilus' data vessels could also be a welcome relief. Currently, California's 800 data centers use around 3.5 million gallon per megawatts per year, which is enough to fill 158,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Nautilus' data vessels give the company a leg up over its competition in a few different ways. While many IT companies rely on alternative methods, as opposed to water, to cool their centers, Nautilus does  not. It has its own patent-pending cooling system which uses ocean water to cool down machines.

Their cooling system works by first collecting heat from machines through a closed cooling loop. The loop then passes heat through an exchanger and then to cool ocean water. This water is then released back into the ocean. No air conditioners or cooling towers are necessary.

The company believes its radical new technology will also benefit consumers worried about data center facility safety. Because the centers are located on the ocean, they are actually less prone to earthquakes and fires. It also helps that the facility is located at a highly secured Navy base.

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