Google patents computing in a trailer

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Well, I’m sure that Sun and Rackable will find this interesting. Nicholas Carr writes on his blog about a patent issued yesterday to Google

The patent, which was originally applied for back in December 2003, also covers the “method for deploying a data center, comprising: building at least one modular computing module at a first site, each including: a shipping container configured for transport via a transport infrastructure; and a plurality of computing systems mounted within the shipping container [and] transporting [the container] to the data center site different from the first site via the transport infrastructure; and connecting at least one resource connection to the at least one modular computing module.” The resource connections include “electricity, natural gas, water, and Internet access.”

I’m sure the Black Box and Concentro crews are paying attention.


  1. Perhaps one day the Supreme Court will take a case and strike down a ruling for the plaintiff suing a defendant under a patent infringement lawsuit with the explanation that you cannot patent an obvious solution to a problem that can reasonably be solved with basic common sense.

    Maybe they already have.

    What is so special about prefabricating a data center in a shipping container or other mobile container?

    Save patent protection for something that really required some original thinking.

    If Google did some original engineering work on packaging, cooling or maybe a special shockproof transportation method, now that would justify a patent.