Since 2005, Google is interested in shipping data centers installed in 40” standard international containers. However, they also worked on the setup of the whole data center building composed of these containers. This video walks us through one of these actual buildings. The screenshot above is a rare documentation of an exception addressing one of the eeriest aspects of data centers: the absence of any trace of human life or moreover social life, as depicted in Timo Arnall’s Time Machine. Graffiti is however a particularly redundant trace of human activity which reaches the most hostile environments, and in this particular sense it is interesting to consider two aspects.
A rack mount cases is a transit case with provision for mounting rackmount equipment such as amplifiers, computers, displays, radios, encryption devices, and so forth. In many cases, the internal 19-inch rack is mounted to the transit case via shock absorbing mounts giving the rack sway space to attenuate shocks and bumps that might be seen during shipment and handling. One of the main standards in the design of these cases is MIL-STD-2073-1D – Standard Practice for Military Packaging. This can be linked to products of mobile data centers like Dell’s one for the military, which is based on a smaller scale than Googles 40” Shipping containers, for extra transportability. You can have an look at the product via Green (low Carbon) Data Center Blog.
Even if unfortunately Bergcloud is a dead project now (and that it sadly brought down the design collective Berg too), I mention it here on our research blog as it probably has some connections with our own research project and what we might try to develop later as tools. The unsuccessful commercial approach of Bergcloud to connected objects should also be taken as a question toward this big “buzz” though.
Note: an interesting “documentary” project/resource for our project is this recent work by designer and researcher Timo Arnall. It was published last May on his website and on different blogs. The focus is obviously here on the data center as a (fascinating?) contemporary artifact, in which the search for technical efficiency, rationality, security, redundancy, clean air, modularity, etc. leads to a specific spatial aesthetic. It is this aesthetic that seems to become the “main character” for this movie that mixes techniques, even so the idea is to reveal/desacralize the “hidden materiality of our data”. This project is planned to be displayed as a multi-screen installation.
While I didn’t have the occasion to see the movie yet, we should keep it in mind and try to display it in the frame of our own research, in particular to the students that will take part to the different I&IC workshops.
Internet machine is a multi-screen film about the invisible infrastructures of the internet. The film reveals the hidden materiality of our data by exploring some of the machines through which ‘the cloud’ is transmitted and transformed.
Film: 6 min 40 sec, digital 4K, 25fps, stereo.
Installation: Digital projection, 3 x 16:10 screens, each 4.85m x 2.8m.
Medium: Digital photography, photogrammetry and 3D animation.
This system isn’t connected to the cloud. Instead, the users represent a cloud of points and this local mobile network links them together. It’s a LAN party without the cables. Anyone within range of an Occupy.here wifi router, with a web-capable smartphone or laptop, can join the network “OCCUPY.HERE,” load the locally-hosted website http://occupy.here, and use the message board to connect with other users nearby. The open source forum software offers a simple, mobile-friendly interface where users can share messages and files.