Run a Google News Search on “google floating” and you get a range of articles. Here are a few
So what are a few facts to think about.
Google running its Hamina data center has been gaining experience running sea water cooling system. No one else has this.
So where would Google put a floating data center? Not in the path of hurricane. Although if it was with advance notice you could disconnect it and move it.
Putting a floating data center in the US off the coast of NYC one of the highest density areas could work, but why?
How about this where it could make sense is to float it in for a deployment like portable cell tower.
Moving a barge is not quick, so you would normally want weeks of advance notice, not hours or days.
With the World Cup Soccer and Olympic games in Brazil there is going to be a local requirement for Google Services. But, anyone who has worked in Brazil knows it can be some of the most expensive data center space when you add up the TCO. Google is extremely good at looking at TCO. And it would seem possible when you look at the costs and issues to ramp up enough capacity for Brazil it is cheaper to deploy a floating data center. Anchor it far enough offshore and you are in International waters. Put it close to the fiber access coming in from Int’l carriers and you can bypass the local Telecom.
BTW, part of the reason I think these are facts is I have gone through this thinking exercise years ago and it does make sense. Especially when you only need the capacity for burst and not long term.