Venture-funded Nautilus Data Technologies is scheduled to begin operations of its state-of-the-art floating data center this November, significantly expanding the Stockton-Modesto area’s tech ecosystem. In addition to Huddle-LaunchPad, ValleyWorx tech co-working space and Bay Valley Tech – a low-barrier code academy aiming to transition thousands of workers from underrepresented groups into tech careers – Nautilus will provide another good reason for Silicon Valley companies to expand operations into the Central Valley.

Data centers house an organization’s proprietary digital assets and are a key component of every modern company’s mission-critical information technology and cybersecurity infrastructure. These fault-proof facilities house thousands of very powerful computer servers running 24/7, which are utilized by leading companies in banking, healthcare, media, food processing and agriculture. Traditional landlocked data centers consume vast amounts of energy in an effort to cool their powerful computer servers, which run extremely hot, often degrading performance.

Pleasanton-based Nautilus’ floating data center uses patented TRUE™ (Total Resource Usage Effectiveness) technology, leveraging innovative water-cooled technology to set a new standard for energy efficiency, environmental sustainability and competitive pricing in the industry.

Nautilus has spent the past five years working with Vallejo-based Lind Marine to convert a 1969 sea-worthy barge into a floating data center, the “Eli M.” The key benefit of this floating data center is its ability to significantly cut costs by using water from ports, lakes, rivers, canals, harbors or protected ocean bays to help cool IT equipment. The converted barge is 235-foot long, 55-foot wide, weighs 700 tons and has the capacity to carry up to 540 racks of computer servers. The Eli M is on track for commission in Stockton’s Deep Water Channel in Q4 this year.

“Nautilus is excited to bring this unique solution to the marketplace and our team is committed to improving economic opportunities for residents in Stockton and the Central Valley,” said Nautilus CEO James L. Connaughton. “We are optimistic that bolstering the Valley’s growing tech hub with Nautilus’ best-in-class infrastructure will attract more leading companies to the region.”

Nautilus’ proprietary TRUE design integrates, for the first time, maritime and industrial cooling technologies to reduce computing cost, cut power usage, eliminate water consumption and has zero impact on water quality, fish or wildlife. It also produces no waste water, uses no harmful refrigerants and lowers air pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Nautilus’ TRUE technology enables the widespread availability of high-performance computing for artificial intelligence, machine learning, healthcare, gaming and other computer-intensive applications — all in a smaller physical and environmental footprint compared to traditional data centers.

The 6-megawatt colocation facility in Stockton will be cheaper and more energy efficient than traditional land-based facilities. With Nautilus’ multi-tenant design, modular data halls on the barge’s deck will house cabinets of servers. Mechanical and electrical equipment, including cooling distribution units, are located below deck in a water-tight hold. Nautilus claims the Eli M will provide customers a 30 percent savings over conventional data farms by reducing energy consumption by 80 percent and carbon emissions by 30 percent.

In addition to the first floating data center in Stockton, Nautilus also has a $35 million data center project in development in Ireland, which received local approvals last year.