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Sun's Project Blackbox -- datacenter in a container

Ryan Block
October 18, 2006
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We're typically not of the ilk to bust out a post on a Sun datacenter solution or yet another clustered supercomputer, but technically Sun's Project Blackbox is portable -- if you consider a shipping container portable. We wouldn't believe it if it were anyone else, but the gimmick here is Project Blackbox is a shock mounted transportable datacenter capable of accommodating up to 250 Sun Fire T1000s or x64 servers, with up to 7 terabytes of memory and as many as 1.5 petabytes of disk or 2 petabytes of tape storage -- just supply water and power, and the thing will run on its own. (Whether or not you actually plug it into your network is another matter entirely.) Their big sales pitch here is that the cash-flush "Web 2.0" company which wants to go green probably needs a simple way of shipping around or deploying an entirely pre-constructed IT infrastructure; see, apparently Project Blackbox is recyclable and is designed to run independently on wind or even Martian solar power (we kid you not, pictures after the break), though our favorite deployment scenario is definitely the datacenter in the parking garage. We never thought getting your megacorp's server farm jacked by a valet was going to redefine corporate data security, but hey, this industry changes daily, and when you're Sun and your competition's ten thousand gutted Linux desktops at a fraction of the price, the publicity stunts you've got to pull start taking bizarre new shapes. That said, we're planning on deploying at least one or two to the next Jobsnote so the F5-trigger happy in the house don't spoil all the fun.

[Thanks, Reese]
















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