Google Floating Data Center makes the news, what are some facts?

Run a Google News Search on “google floating” and you get a range of articles.  Here are a few

Is Google building a hulking floating data center in SF Bay?

CNET - ‎4 hours ago‎
SAN FRANCISCO -- Something big and mysterious is rising from a floating barge at the end of Treasure Island, a former Navy base in the middle of San Francisco Bay. And Google's fingerprints are all over it. It's unclear what's inside the structure, which ...

Google May Be Launching Floating Data Centers Off US Coasts

Mashable - ‎16 hours ago‎
Google, one of the world's largest users of data, may finally be making good on a five year-old patent to build offshore data centers — cooled and powered by the ocean, and potentially beyond reach of the government. An investigative report by CNET Friday ...

Google could have a floating data center in Maine, too

CNET (blog) - ‎17 hours ago‎
As CNET reported Friday, it looks very much like Google has been building a floating data center made from shipping containers on a barge in the middle of San Francisco Bay. But it may not be the only one of its kind. Google has not responded to multiple ...

Google it? Search-engine giant may be behind secret structures - ‎5 hours ago‎
The lack of windows and egress stairs on the exterior of the buildings rule out the possibility that they are floating hotels, said Joel Egan, the principal at Cargotecture, which designs buildings using shipping containers. "If it's Google, it's probably a data center ...

Google's Latest Data Center May Be Floating In San Francisco Bay

ReadWrite - ‎17 hours ago‎
Google may be building a secret data center on a barge currently floating in San Francisco Bay, CNET's Daniel Terdiman reports in a convincing, though still circumstantial, article. If true, it would represent the Internet giant's latest attempt to translate some of ...

Google data center, floating in the ocean?

Android Community - ‎18 hours ago‎
If you like speculation, try this on for size. A giant, floating something has been spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some are speculating that it's Google in nature, and could be afloating data center. While no clear ties to Google are present, speculation ...

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.

My suggestion is that the search and rescue team simply deploy portable cell phone towers and continually ping/call their cell phone numbers or listen for their calls, in addition to the traditional S&R.

The basic technology already exists. There are portable towers ( that could be driven along the suspected route the missing folks took. If the search area is large, the tower could even be designed to be suspended from a helicopter to increase the range. There are portable towers that appear to be small enough for this (

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.