Californian startup Nautilus Data Technologies has filed a proposal to dock a floating data center in Limerick Docks in Ireland, with support from the country's second largest port operation service provider, the Shannon Foynes Port Company.

The company's CEO, Jim Connaughton, told the Limerick Leader that should it be approved, the data center could come online as early as 2020.

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Nautilus Data Center concept – Nautilus Data Centers

At long last?

The €35m (US$40m) project would be Nautilus' first successful deployment since it tested its waterborne data center concept back in 2015 in the San Francisco Bay area.

Designed to deliver high-efficiency hosting from moorings, running surrounding water through a secondary circulating system, the facility would effectively operate without any additional need for water.

Last year, it received $10 million from Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation as part of a $25 million Series C round, announcing that it would launch one of its barge-based facilities at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California in January 2018, but all indications suggest that it never did.

The Limerick Docks facility, matching the size of already present vessels, would comprise four data halls spanning two floors above deck, with cooling and power systems below. And, just like regular mooring vessels, the barge would be tied to the docks and accessible via a gangway ramp.

Connaughton stated that the facility would provide enough capacity to serve either multiple small companies, or one or several larger customers.

Chief executive of the Shannon Foynes Port Company, Pat Keating, said the project would "enhance the wider viability of the docklands, which is currently already enjoying record tonnage throughput across our traditional commercial import and export port."