The now-solved mystery of what was rumoured to be a Google floating data centre

If your company regularly purchases data centre equipment from big name brands, you will probably be just as fascinated as we at Data Centre Shop are by a recent story about what was long rumoured to be a secret new Google project. To be more precise, the story is that a large structure has been spotted on a barge that is floating in San Francisco and… that there were rumours and some evidence that the structure could have been a floating data centre owned by Google.

Evidence that fuelled “floating data centrerumours
The structure is about four stories in height and made from several modern cargo containers. Technology news website CNET engaged in much speculation about what the structure could be after Google failed to respond to multiple requests for comment. A CNET reporter speculated that the structure was a Google-owned floating data centre after CNET went through lease agreements, used LinkedIn to find a contact associated with the project and chatted to locals on Treasure Island. CNET also pointed out to its visitors that Google had been granted a patent for a floating data centre in 2009 and that other companies had already built data centres inside shipping containers.

Google later cleared up the mystery
Much online speculation about the structure continued until Google stepped in to banish the mystery for everyone. In a statement released by the search giant’s press centre, the company stated: “A floating data centre? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above”, adding that, “Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.” That’s that mystery solved, then – and it will be interesting to see exactly what Google indeed opt to do with the barge. Could it later become a data centre after all? Watch this space…

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