First we had Google (GOOG) filing a patent on datacenter barges floating 3-7 miles off shore, and now we have Morgan Stanley planning a tidal power based datacenter in the far north of Scotland. The idea of course has a familiar ring nowadays: instead of bringing the power to the datacenter, why not bring the datacenter to the power? And you have to hand it to the thinkers behind this, when they decided to think outside the box, they really went all out.
In this case, the location would be Pentland Firth between the Orkney Islands and the rest of Scotland. Now, I've been up there, it looks sorta like this:
Just picture your datacenter up there on top of that cliff, where there really ought to be an old stone castle ruin or something.
There's no doubt at all that they have tidal power, and they have lots of sheep too, and rocks, lots of rocks. Not a lot of things like roads or, say, people. Frankly, for much of the year it is a rather tough place to live well. At least on a floating data barge you might be just 7 miles from town, way up there in the Scottish highlands can feel a lot further. Not much local technical talent to hire. But on the other hand, you could tack a B&B on the side of the datacenter and get some extra high-tech eco-tourism revenue! So long as those Viking raids don't start up again...
Just one more question: doesn't Morgan Stanley have something more urgent to be working on right now? Like something having to do with Wall Street collapsing around it? 🙂
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