MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 16 — Sun Microsystems has developed a novel “data center in a box” in an effort to transform the fundamental economics of corporate computing.
The expandable computer system, called Project Blackbox, is based on a standard 20-foot shipping container and can be deployed virtually anywhere there is electricity, chilled water and an Internet connection.
Sun will introduce a prototype at its headquarters here on Tuesday. The system is planned for commercial availability in the second half of 2007, with prices beginning around $500,000.
On Monday, he gave a reporter a tour of the prototype system, which sits in a container case adjacent to a Sun office building here, connected to two large fire hoses for water cooling and 500 kilowatts of redundant power.
Painted black with a lime green Sun logo, the system can consist of up to seven tightly packed racks of 35 server computers based on either Sun’s Niagara Sparc processor or an Opteron chip from Advanced Micro Devices. The system includes sensors to detect tampering or movement and features a large red button to shut it down in an emergency. Once plugged in, it requires just five minutes to be ready to run applications.
This is an interesting concept. This datacenter looks like a simple cargo container that can be deployed anywhere.
To deploy their cluster, all you need is:
1) A 500 kW electricity source
2) Good network connections.
3) A hose with cooling water
4) A truck to move the container to the desired location
5) And, of course a $500,000 cashier check to SUNW.