By: Tom Coughlin
Forbes Tech

Data Centers are a big consumer of electricity; even a moderately sized data center can consume the same amount of energy as a small city. With the growing volume of digital data generated by consumers and businesses that must be stored in these data centers and with the vast amounts of data that will be created by the Internet of Things and other emerging ways to generate large amounts of information, data centers will become more numerous and consume more power.

There are a number of innovative approaches to the design of data centers as well as the way that their services are sold, to make the most efficient and cost-effective offerings. There are also new developments that could allow greater flexibility and wider use of these increasingly critical elements to our digital civilization.

Aligned Data Centers are providing a “pay-for-use” data center in Plano, Texas. This 300,000 square foot, $300 M, 30 megawatt data center complex provides cutting edge energy efficiencies and plans to utilize a very efficient operating system that is expected to provide tremendous savings in energy and water consumption.

Traditional co-location models lock customers into a long-term contract for data center electrical power, that they may not use. This new model allows customers to pay for the electricity that they actually use. This eliminates the need to forecast IT demand and provide real-time control of required storage and processor capacity. As a result tenants are able to reduce energy and resource waste (power, cooling and water) and thus lower their operating costs.

A San Francisco Bay area data center company, Nautilus Data Technologies, is offering waterborne data centers that use the water surrounding the vessel to remove data center heat. Their Waterborne Data Center solution prototype should allow enterprises to dramatically reduce the costs of computing and storage while operating a environmentally sustainable data center.

A Tale of Two Data Centers

According to Nautilus a single mid-size data center can consume 130 million gallons of water a year (enough to supply nearly 2,000 people). The Nautilus approach consumes no water by putting disaster-resistance, marine-grade data centers on Coast Gauard certified barges in secure ports and using naturally-cooled water around the barge to reduce the temperature in the facility with no evaporation of water.

They report that the increase in temperature in the heating water is 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit and poses minimal environmental impact to the surrounding water. The waterborne vessel can be moved as needed and works in salty, brackish or fresh water. The annual savings in electricity costs for this new data center model are estimated at more than $4 M per year. Carbon emission reductions are estimated to be more than 19,000 tons per year.

By: News Staff
Tech Wire

Data center infrastructure provider Nautilus Data Technologies announced Thursday it has named Kirk Horton as vice president of sales and marketing.

Horton previously was vice president of channel sales for IPR, a provider of cloud and co-location services. He was also vice president of enterprise sales and channels for Telx. Prior to Telx, Horton served in executive sales and channel roles at data center and technology companies Globix (now QTS Realty Trust), Digital Island and SpeedERA (Akamai).

Horton is a past member and advisory board member of the Technology Channel Association. He attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and has a bachelor’s degree in international business administration/management from Notre Dame de Namur University.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based Nautilus Data Technologies recently showed its 30,000-square-foot Waterborne Data Center fixed to a moored barge. The company has dubbed it the world’s first floating data center.

Technology Industry Veteran Kirk Horton Joins Growing Management Team

Pleasanton, CA, November 19, 2015 – Nautilus Data Technologies, a next generation data center infrastructure company, is proud to announce the appointment of its new Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Kirk Horton, a technology industry veteran and proven leader in the data center sector. Mr. Horton takes over the Nautilus Data Technologies sales and marketing team as the company prepares to launch the world’s first commercial floating data center.

“We are excited to have Kirk Horton join our exceptional leadership team,” said Nautilus Data Technologies CEO, Arnold Magcale. “Mr. Horton has the perfect combination of technological expertise, visionary leadership and dynamic energy necessary to help Nautilus Data Technologies pioneer the next generation of data center solutions.”

Mr. Horton is a widely known and well-regarded leader in the data center industry with 20 years of experience heading global sales and channel organizations. He has an extensive background in the data center, cloud services and managed services industries and has successfully helped guide multiple companies to unprecedented performance and profits.

“Joining Nautilus Data Technologies is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Kirk Horton, Nautilus Data Technologies VP of Sales and Marketing. “Nautilus Data Technologies is a transformational company that is revolutionizing the data center industry. I’m thrilled to play a role in history by helping launch the most energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost effective data center on the market.”

Prior to Nautilus Data Technologies, Mr. Horton served as Vice President of Channel Sales for IPR, a leading provider of cloud and colocation services. He was also Vice President of Enterprise Sales and Channels for Telx, a leading provider of interconnection and data center services in the United States. Prior to Telx, Horton served in executive sales and channel roles at leading data center and technology companies Globix (now QTS Realty Trust), Digital Island, and SpeedERA (Akamai) and was a key member of the management team that led those companies to remarkably successful exits.

Mr. Horton was named as a Top Channel Chief by CRN five times for leading program innovation and generating revenue. He also received the distinguished Circle of Excellence Award for leadership and innovation. He’s a past member and advisory board member of the Technology Channel Association (TCA) – the industry’s first non-profit trade association – and a coveted speaker at industry events. Mr. Horton attended California Polytechnic State University, SLO and has a BS Degree in Int’l Business Administration/Management from Notre Dame deNamur University.

About Nautilus Data Technologies

Nautilus Data Technologies launched in 2013 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. The company was founded by Arnold Magcale, a recognized technology industry expert with decades of experience in data centers and cloud management. CEO Arnold Magcale is also a U.S. Navy Special Forces veteran.

Follow Nautilus Data Technologies: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook

By: George Leopold
Defense Systems

A startup called Nautilus Data Technologies said it is building the first commercial “waterborne” data center at a naval shipyard at Mare Island Naval Complex north of San Francisco. The company said deployment at the “secure port” is scheduled for next year.

Nautilus CEO Arnold Magcale is a former member of the U.S. Navy Special Forces. The startup said it worked with the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the Naval Postgraduate School to develop its data center prototype.

Data center operators have adopted a range of novel approaches to reducing energy consumption as a way to boost a key industry metric: power usage effectiveness, or PUE. (Datacenter operators aimed for a PUE rating around 1; Nautilus said its prototype design has been validated at 1.045).

As data center PUE ratings hit a wall, more radical designs are being consider and, significantly, attracting venture funding. Google initially proposed the concept of a floating data center. Nautilus, based in Pleasanton, Calif., said it is building the first commercial “data barge” based on a prototype moored off the California naval complex.

Even the company acknowledges early doubts about the inherent risks involved in floating millions of dollars worth of computing and other IT gear. Jay Kerley, chief information officer of Applied Materials, a major supplier to the semiconductor industry, admitted initial skepticism before becoming an advisory board member. Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, also advises the startup.

Applied Materials, environmental services supplier Veolia and the U.S. Navy provided equipment for the prototype datacenter launched last summer.

Asked about potential customers, a Nautilus executive replied in an email that “we are in talks with some of the industry’s leading technology companies,” but he declined to name them. The startup expects to begin announcing customers in early 2016.

To convince skeptics, Nautilus stressed that it places its floating data centers on “ocean-worthy barges” that meet U.S. Coast Guard specifications and exceed maritime standards. The barges are former military or construction ships with an expected lifetime of up to 50 years. The platforms are then “moored to piers in protected ports,” the company said in a statement announcing construction of the first commercial floating datacenter.

Added a Nautilus executive: “They will be safely secured in protected ports, moored to land and supported by underwater stabilizers.” The data barges are built with 13 airtight compartments. The company said the platform would “maintain buoyancy” even if five compartments were flooded. Nautilus also is considering deploying pontoons as “added protection while providing additional space and stability to the barge.”

Why not just continue building data centers on terra firma and avoid the risk of being swamped? The startup, which has so far attracted $25 million in venture funding, claims its data barge design consumes up to 30 percent less energy than traditional datacenters while saving an estimated 130 million gallons of water annually.

Its patented technology uses the water on which the barge floats for cooling. Another selling point for data center operators in drought-stricken California: The data barge consumes no water since all used for cooling is recycled.

The floating facility occupies 30,000 square feet on a 230-foot barge, but the company claims that novel design efficiencies make the data barge equal to an 80,000-square-foot data center on land. The barge can be configured with up to 800 server racks and deployed in less than six months.

The company also asserts that a floating data centers moored in “carefully selected military grade ports” offer greater security and the ability to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes.

The startup’s proprietary data center infrastructure management (DCIM) technologies are used to automate IT infrastructure. The DCIM approach also leverages artificial intelligence and provides what the company calls military-grade security.

Magcale touts the data barge concept as among the “most significant data center advances in decades.” For now, the startup has the private investment and brain trust to back up that claim, along with support from the Navy.

Pleasanton, California, November 16, 2015 – Nautilus Data Technologies, a next generation data center infrastructure company, announced construction of its first commercial data center – a waterborne facility that will revolutionize the global data center industry.

Nautilus Data Technologies is the first company to successfully deploy a waterborne data center prototype, offering hosting, colocation and cloud services for primary computing needs, business continuity and disaster recovery services. With the introduction of its Waterborne Data Center solution, Nautilus will enable enterprises to dramatically reduce the cost of computing by providing the industry’s best-in-class power usage effectiveness (PUE), while operating the most environmentally sustainable data center on the market.

Construction of Nautilus’s first commercial data center follows the successful launch of its proof of concept prototype, which demonstrated a 30 percent decrease in energy consumption and operating costs when compared to land-based facilities. 

The water savings were even greater. 

Data centers rely on massive amounts of water for cooling. A single, mid-size data center can easily consume 130 million gallons of water a year — enough to supply nearly 2,000 people. But Nautilus’s proprietary technology consumes no water. By placing the disaster-resistant, marine-grade, data centers on Coast Guard certified barges, Nautilus Data Technologies utilizes the naturally-cooled water below the barge to reduce the temperature in the facility. This allows Nautilus to recycle the water and return it directly back into the body of water from where it originated, resulting in virtually no water loss.

“The Nautilus proof of concept prototype exceeded all expectations — validating how our waterborne approach will provide the most cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable data center on the market,” said Arnold Magcale, CEO and co-founder, Nautilus Data Technologies. “Our innovations are the most significant data center advances in decades — marking a revolutionary change in the data center industry.”

Traditional data center models are unsustainable. They are expected to consume 140 billion kilowatt-hours annually by 2020, costing American businesses $13 billion a year in electricity bills and emitting nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon pollution per year. With its proprietary infrastructure, and its complete suite of cloud and predictive data center infrastructure management (DCIM) technologies, Nautilus will help its customers reduce both their data center expenses and carbon footprints. Compared to current technology, annual savings in electricity costs are expected to be more than $4 million. Carbon dioxide emission reductions are estimated to be more than 19,000 tons per year — that’s the equivalent of taking 3,600 cars off the road.

“I admit I was skeptical at first, wondering who could have a material impact on data center economics while still reducing risk,” said Jay Kerley, CIO of Applied Materials, Inc. “But the leadership at Nautilus Data Technologies has done just that. Proprietary technology that will always keep you steps ahead of the efficiency curve no matter the underlying pace of change and innovation.”

Nautilus’s first commercial waterborne data center is being built at a Northern California Naval Shipyard and will be deployed at a secure port next year.

About Nautilus Data Technologies

Nautilus Data Technologies launched in 2013 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. The company was founded by Arnold Magcale, a recognized technology industry expert with decades of experience in data centers and cloud management. CEO Arnold Magcale is also a U.S. Navy Special Forces veteran.

Follow Nautilus Data Technologies: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook

By: Mike Wheatley
Silicon Angle

We’ve seen a number of novel approaches in the data center industry aimed at reducing energy consumption, from building facilities above the Arctic Circle to using water misters for evaporative cooling. Now, a startup called Nautilus Data Technologies Inc. from Pleasanton, California, has put forward a radical new idea – the floating data center.

Last week, Nautilus announced it’s already building the world’s first commercial “data barge” at the Mare Island Naval Complex north of San Francisco. Enterprise Tech reports that the company actually came out of stealth earlier this year, with the promise of higher energy efficiency than standard data centers, competitive pricing, and greater mobility and security due to its waterborne nature. Once construction on its first floating data center is completed, the barge will be moved to a “secure port” and begin looking for customers to rent out some of its data center capacity too.

But why a floating data center? The answer is simple – Nautilus touts a number of benefits, including significant power savings and also water cooling savings. According to the startup, its data barge will consume up to 30 percent less energy than traditional data centers while saving on up to 130 million gallons of water per year.

The project has attracted some keen interest, with Silicon Valley-based firms like A10 Networks and Applied Materials, as well as the U.S. Navy, all expressing an interest in renting some of its data center capacity.

Despite the novelty of having a data center floating on water, Kirk Horton, the VP of sales and marketing at Nautilus, told Data Center Knowledge that customers were more interested in how the company achieves such high levels of energy and how they can deliver the kind of costs savings they promise.

“They see this massive 230-foot barge, and the whole notion of this being on water is out of their mind,” Horton said, adding that its data barges can be deployed in any port that meets its power, network and security requirements and moved to a new location when necessary.

What this means is that Nautilus’ data barges could be an ideal solution to meet the demand for greater data center capacity in “edge” locations to serve new, growing markets.

Nautilus is set to commission its first floating data center by the first quarter of next year, built atop of a ship called the Eli M. Once it’s ready to set sail, the barge will be moored off of an undisclosed location on the West Coast.

By: Yevgeniy Sverdlik
Data Center Knowledge

After they get over the initial “huh?” when they hear about the idea of building a data center on a floating barge, infrastructure execs for big companies usually want to know how Nautilus Data Technologies achieves the kind of energy efficiency it claims its floating data center offers, Kirk Horton, the startup’s VP of sales and marketing, said.

“That whole water factor completely evaporates once the client comes onto the construction site,” he said. “They see this massive 230-foot barge, and the whole notion of this being on water is out of their mind.”

Nautilus came out of stealth earlier this year, announcing its plan to build an 8 MW floating colocation data center, promising high energy efficiency, competitive pricing, and, due to its unusual approach to real estate, mobility and higher security than data centers on land. The company has completed a smaller proof of concept, has raised $25 million in private equity, and is now building its first commercial facility in a US Navy port on Mare Island, a peninsula in Vallejo, California, about 20 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Nautilus staff have taken many IT execs on tours of the prototype and the construction site on the barge, the company’s execs said. While they weren’t at liberty to name all the organizations who were interested in the project, those who participated in the proof of concept include Silicon Valley’s A10 Networks and Applied Materials, as well as the US Navy itself, according to Horton.

Like many other federal agencies, the Navy is in data center consolidation mode and actively looking for alternatives for its massive data center fleet. The department had more than 200 data centers around 2013, when it started its consolidation efforts.

Last year, it set a goal of reducing the number of its data centers to 20 or fewer and outsourcing 75 percent of its data center needs to commercial providers, according to a conference presentation earlier this year by John Pope, director of the Navy’s current Data Center and Application Optimization program.

Nautilus execs couldn’t disclose any specifics about the company’s engagement with the Navy, but “we have top-secret clearance with the Navy, and we’re doing some sensitive work for them,” Arnold Magcale, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said.

The reason the department has so many data centers is that it has traditionally built them to support warfighter operations wherever they are, according to Pope’s slides. “Warfighters require world-wide, secure, reliable, and timely information,” one of the slides read. “Multiple independent data centers grew up organically to support the warfighter.”

One of the reasons the Navy may be interested in floating data centers is their mobility. A Nautilus data center can be deployed in any port that meets the security, power, and network connectivity requirements and moved elsewhere when it is no longer required.

In the public sector, there’s demand for the ability to deploy data center capacity in places where it’s not easy to build brick-and-mortar facilities. One example would be so-called “edge” locations, where the amount of people connected to the internet is growing and content and service providers need data center capacity close to those locations to serve new growing markets, Horton said.

Magcale said he expects to commission the company’s first floating data center, being built atop a vessel named Eli M, after his mother, in the first quarter of 2016. Once completed, the barge will be moved to another location on the West Coast, which the execs also could not disclose.

Nautilus claims its facility will use up to 50 percent less energy than a traditional data center of comparable size. The energy savings will come from its patent-pending data center infrastructure management software and a cooling system that uses sea water, a feature that will be especially welcome in drought-ridden California.

By: Paul Alcorn
Data Center Knowledge

Avast mateys, Nautilus Data Technologies aims to make waves with its new floating datacenter prototype. Actually, there is no need to batten down the hatches, as the commercial waterborne datacenter is on a permanently moored barge. However, the company is hopeful that the promise of increased PuE efficiency will generate waves of interest in the datacenter space.

The battle to combat ever-rising energy costs already spurred a number of techniques that take advantage of renewable energy to reduce cost, including datacenters powered by geothermal energy and dams, along with the requisite solar implementations.

Cooling is one of the highest ongoing expenses in a traditional datacenter, and the more-common approach to reducing energy costs is to reduce or remove cooling. Several hyperscale datacenters have adopted open-air designs that feature either no cooling, or very limited cooling. Nautilus’s approach leverages water to significantly reduce the typical cooling-related power expenditure.

The concept of a waterborne datacenter isn’t entirely new; in fact, Google has a patent for a proposed ship-borne data center that actually moves and generates electricity from waves. If Google is actively developing that concept, the company is keeping it under wraps. The Nautilus Waterborne Data Center solution is the only commercialized field-tested technique we’re aware of.

The Waterborne Data Center (christened “Eli M” in honor of CEO Arnold Magscale’s mother) is actually a fully functional version of the previous proof-of-concept prototype, which the company indicated achieved a 30 percent decrease in energy consumption and operating costs in comparison to land-based facilities.

Nautilus mounted the datacenter floor space on top of an ocean-worthy barge moored in a secure port and utilizes the water below the barge to cool the interior. The system employs a secondary closed-loop heat exchange technique that does not waste water, which is a considerable advantage over other implementations. Nautilus claimed this can save up to 130 million gallons of water a year in comparison to a mid-size land-based datacenter with a water cooling architecture.

Power delivery, conversion and backup systems occupy a large portion of any datacenter, and the Nautilus approach keeps these critical systems on dry land. Nautilus routes power and Internet connections through multiple locations to ensure redundancy.

The water-bound location of the 30,000 square feet of datacenter floor space may be an attractive alternative in earthquake-prone coastal regions, such as California. Nautilus also indicated that the removal of cooling and power equipment magnifies the 30,000 square feet to an equivalent of 80,000 square feet in a land-based datacenter.

Nautilus plans to deploy additional barges worldwide, and the company is backed by $25 million in private investments. The company also features a range of DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) tools, which Nautilus will likely employ in its floating data centers.

The long-term viability of a waterborne approach sounds radical, but many considered open-air datacenter cooling to be a radical approach when introduced several years ago. Open-air datacenters have gained tremendous traction, but they are limited to certain geographical areas due to weather patterns. Open-air designs also tend to be relegated to large-scale deployments.

Nautilus features a similar geographic limitation — it requires a large body of water. However, it can address the needs of smaller-than-hyperscale customers, and it is utilizing its inaugural datacenter for hosting, colocation and cloud services for primary computing needs, business continuity and disaster recovery services.

In either case, the new design delivers a shot across the bow of high and dry land-based datacenters, but only time will tell if waterborne datacenters win the battle or walk the plank.