Google, the mammoth Web company that runs almost half of the search on the Web, relies on back-end servers that have to withstand the toughest of loads and response criteria. Recently, Google received a patent on the concept of a "mobile data center," which is a standard shipping container packed with racks of high-powered servers ready to be plugged in for action.
Here's an excerpt from the article at Ars Technica:
But what would Google want with a fleet of massive self-contained servers driving around the world? The idea is an extension of what Google has been doing for many years: buying up unused dark fiber and parking these mobile "super-routers" wherever they can best boost Google's bandwidth. The other advantage is that the containers can be placed wherever Google's utility costs are cheapest.
Robert. X. Cringely, in an insightful article, mentions how Google's investment in its own brew of homemade power-packed servers aims to power the whole Web in the distant future.
For Google, as well as any other Web-based company, the existence of the Internet is a fundamental necessity. Hence, making the services accessible to users with minimal latency, no matter where the location, makes perfect sense.
The patent, filed by Google employees William H. Whitted and Gerald Aigner, is very similar to the idea of a portable datacenter by Sun Microsystems (Project Blackbox).
The one thing that Google wants to do really well is ensure the expanding reach of the Web. And in this process, it brings forward staggering new innovations that appeal to the industry in several ways.