Here's one of the stranger product announcements we've seen lately. Some time next year, enterprises will be able to call up Sun and order a portable data center.
The "Black Box" is described as a complete data center in a shipping container. Benefits: space and cost savings and a 90 percent reduction in installation time, compared to a normal data center. Hardware: 250 Niagara or x64 servers, with 1.5 petabytes of storage capacity.
Sun says that, though they could technically be portable, it doesn't expect customers will move the Black Boxes around. Rather, they could be ideal for positioning in the parking lot or on the roof. Just add water -- for the on-board cooling system -- and power, and start computing.
Three models will be offered, for Web servers, storage and high-performance computing.
Steven Harris, director of data center planning for Forsythe Solutions Group, recently explained in an IT Business Edge interview how to decide between retrofitting a data center or starting from scratch. Perhaps the Black Box will become the new middle ground.