Google should have been the cloud industry pioneer, but Amazon pulled the rug from right under them and raced to the top position, leaving all the tech giants breathless as they try and catch up. But now, Google Cloud Platform has suddenly been resurrected in a big way (not that it died, but it was fairly dormant) and plans are afoot to expand their data center footprint to new regions. And by regions, we mean planets. Of course.
By 2018, Google wants to have a data center operational on Mars, the Red Planet voted in high school as most likely to succeed in providing a home to earthlings. And it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke either.
UPDATE: It was an April Fool’s joke by Google’s cloud team and we were completely taken in. Add 1 to the 1redDrop Wall of Shame! 🙁
— Shudeep C (@ShudeepC) April 3, 2017
Essentially, Alphabet wants to expand its compute, network and storage power to Mars, first for the purpose of data processing and storage for Mars rovers, and then in preparation of the colonization of Mars. Over time, they intend to move massive amounts of data and make it redundant with data stored in more earthly locations.
They’ve already got a nickname for the world’s first interplanetary data center – Ziggy Stardust – “This region will also serve as an important node in an extensive network throughout the solar system,” says Google on it cloud blog.
They’re really serious about it. I think. This is what they’re saying:
“In order to ease the transition for our Earthling customers, Google Cloud Storage (GCS) is launching a new Earth-Mars Multi-Regional location. Users can store planet-redundant data across Earth and Mars, which means even if Earth experiences another asteroid strike like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, your cat videos, selfies and other data will still be safe.”
Huh? Who’s actually going to watch those videos if my and my cat are both wiped out? That’s what I’d like to know, Larry.
Google also quotes one of its “early access customers”:
“This will be a game changer for us. With GCS, we can store all the data collected from our rovers right on Mars and run big data analytics to query exabyte-scale datasets all in a matter of seconds. Our dream of colonizing Mars by 2020 can now become a reality.”
I wonder who that customer is. Musk be somebody we know, probably.
The Google Planets team has already identified a site for the data center – Gale Crater, near the landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover.
Why just Mars, you ask? Google has the answer to that:
“But why stop at Mars? We’re taking a moonshot at N+42 redundancy with galaxy-scale computing. While GCP is optimized for faster-than-light data coordination for databases, the Google Planets team is already hard at work mapping the rest of our solar system for future data center locations.”
This could possibly be the moonshot-est moonshot that Google has ever come up with, but colonizing Mars is becoming a high priority item in several board rooms across the United States. If we succeed in getting even a small colony set up on Mars by 2020, at least they won’t have to worry about not having access to cat videos.
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