The Navy’s USS Zumwalt is a massive ship set to hit the water later on this year, doing so with $3.5 billion in costs and some lofty goals. Under the command of Captain James Kirk — yes, you read that correctly — the ship will be home to a large data center powered by a variety of Linux distros and custom software composing a system that is still being tested.
In particular, the USS Zumwalt is packed with primarily IBM blade servers, according to Ars Technica, and they run Red Hat Linux. The servers are then installed in an Electronic Modular Enclosure, of which there are sixteen on the ship, each serving as its own miniaturized data center. These EMEs, as they are known, are ruggedized to help protect against issues that could arise from shocks.
The design of these ruggedized data centers is intended to keep the servers alive despite vibrations and shocks that could result on a ship of its caliber, and likewise feature shielding to stop interference issues and liquid-based cooling systems to keep the temperatures from getting too high. Much of the work is done off-ship, with the equipment being delivered later on and then fully implemented.
With this system, all aspects of the USS Zumwalt is connected using fiber cables and copper network cables. The Total Ship Computing Environment functions like a ship-centric Internet network, and through it all the ship’s system are connected, including weapons, sensors, and more. Both VoIP and WiFi networks are also present.