Sun Unveils Data Centers in a Box

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2006-10-17 Print this article Print

Sun's Project Blackbox aims to offer businesses all the technology they need in a standard shipping container.

Sun Microsystems believes the answer to some of the problems of power, cooling and speed of IT deployment in enterprise data centers could be found in a standard shipping container.

Sun President and CEO Jonathan Schwartz and other company officials on Oct. 17 will unveil Sun's Project Blackbox, an initiative in which all the technology that an enterprise might need for a 10,000-square-foot data center can be fitted and delivered in a shipping box that is commonly seen on the backs of tractor-trailers rolling down the highway.

The concept is aimed at businesses that have run out of room in their data centers—either because of a lack of space or because they can't bring additional power into their facilities—but still need more compute power.

The container—20 feet long, eight feet wide and eight feet high—can hold as many as 120 Sun Fire T2000 or 240 T1000 servers, or about 250 Opteron-based "Galaxy" systems.

In addition, one storage-focused container can provide up to 2 petabytes of storage, according to Sun Chief Marketing Officer Anil Gadre. A container also can offer up to 15TB of memory.

The compact design's floor space is about a third the size of a traditional 10,000-square-foot data center. Thanks in large part to the chilled-water cooling technology, it saves up to 20 percent in power and cooling costs and can be deployed about 10 times faster, sometimes in a matter of weeks.

"Basically, it rolls up to you, you hook up your power, you hook up your water, you hook up your network and you're ready to go," Gadre said.

In an interview with eWEEK before the event, Greg Papadopoulos, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Sun, said Project Blackbox—which has several patents pending on its design—is the future of infrastructure design.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Sun Unveils Data Centers in a Box.


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