Grid Computing -- To Go

Loraine Lawson

You know how people are always saying you should '"think outside the box?" Well, sometimes, the solution is the box.


At least, that's the case if the box is about the size of train cart and delivered by Sun Microsystems.


Sun is now shipping truck trailers that contain enough computing power to hook up 10,000 employees, according to this article in Scientific America. The "Project Blackbox" system ia essentially a data center in a box. It can hold up to 250 servers inside.


Essentially, Sun's taken grid computing and made it portable.


It's a turn-key solution for companies and organizations that need more computing power, but don't have the space, time, money or inclination to build yet another server farm. The only thing you need to add is a parking space, a power outlet, and -- oh yeah -- a 60-gallon-a-minute water source, plus a dedicated fiber-optic cable. Maybe that's not exactly something you have sitting around your parking lot, but it's a heck of a lot easier than building a new data center.


The article explains how they manage to put so many servers inside a metal box without generating so much heat, the whole thing burns up. It also looks at possible uses for the box and possible barriers to adoption.

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