Sun introduces 'portable' data centre

Source: Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today unveiled Project Blackbox, a systems innovation designed to reset datacenter economics. Project Blackbox applies Sun's trademark innovation and network computing expertise to provide a simple, 'instant-o' modular datacenter targeting companies seeking rapid and highly efficient deployment of lights-out infrastructure.

Project Blackbox packages compute, storage and network infrastructure, along with high-efficiency power and cooling into modular units based on standard shipping containers. The Project Blackbox prototype is designed to be rapidly and flexibly deployed anytime, anywhere.

"Just about every CIO and startup I meet says they're crippled by datacenter energy and space constraints - today's solutions are clearly failing to meet the needs of Web 2.0," said Jonathan Schwartz, CEO and president, Sun Microsystems. "Rather than trying to improve upon today's datacenter, designed for people babysitting computers, Project Blackbox starts from the world's most broadly adopted industry standard, the shipping container, and asks - how can we most efficiently create modular, lights-out datacenters from this base- The answer- With one-hundredth of the initial cost, one-fifth the cost per square foot, and with 20 percent more power efficiency, we can deliver an immense multiple of capacity and capability - anywhere on earth."

The Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) is at the core of Sun's virtualized infrastructure - from one-way servers to high performance computing environments delivering hundreds of Teraflops. Harnessing the power of the Solaris 10 OS coupled with Sun server and storage technologies, one Blackbox could hold 250 Sun Fire servers, provide two petabytes of storage, or provide seven Terabytes of memory.

Project Blackbox, as envisioned and engineered today, is a pre-configured, fully contained datacenter, optimized for maximum density, performance and efficiency, as well as complete recyclability. The form factor and underlying technologies offer a range of potential new uses, including:
  • Quick Web 2.0 build-outs - brings computing resources to Web 2.0 companies that have an ongoing need for datacenter space, yet don't have the time to design or build it
  • Advanced military applications - enables deployments anytime, anywhere
  • Developing nations - brings instant-on computing facilities to locations that lack the power and networking infrastructure to support a traditional datacenter
  • Oil exploration and seismic modeling - brings high performance computing to virtually any location, from offshore oil rigs to underdeveloped regions of the world
  • Leveraging alternative energy sources - gives companies the flexibility to locate datacenters to take better advantage of alternative energy sources and rates

Project Blackbox is currently in the late prototype phase. Sun has begun working with early customers, with early commercial availability slated for mid-2007.

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