With the kind of success that Google exhibits nowadays, it's not difficult to forget or miss what makes the company different from other pioneers in the industry and what puts them on top of the competition. Indeed, Google's advantages are not limited to an accurate and speedy search algorithm, advertising platform or conundrum of web services. As Om Malik cleverly puts it on a recent blog entry, it's the infrastructure stupid.

Google is known for spending sizable amounts of money on infrastructure, even when they were some of the first to perform and perfect server scaling using clusters of commodity-class x86 PCs. Now they plan to take things a bit further, as Google has filed a patent for a "water-based data center" that uses the ocean to provide power and cooling.

According to the patent filing, the data centers would be located 3 to 7 miles off-shore and would make use of the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter units that turn ocean surface waves into electricity. The remote data centers would still need first grade connectivity, an area in which the search giant has also shown interest in recent years.