[Sun Microsystems:Innovation] Project Blackbox : Startup-esque Data Center Innovation From A Not-So-Much Startup

by M. David Peterson

So this might be the coolest (pun only partially intended ;) idea I have seen come out of Silicon Valley in a VERY LONG TIME.

I don't know what Jonathan Schwartz is putting in the coffee at Sun these days, but whatever it is...

Please be careful... It's *HOT*. ;)

Photos: Inside Sun's Project Blackbox | CNET News.com

Inside Sun's Project Blackbox
October 16, 2006 9:00 PM PDT

Sun Microsystems believes many customers will prefer to buy data center equipment in convenient shipping container-sized modules rather than building more expensive and elaborate buildings on their own. It plans to show off the idea, called Project Blackbox, at its Menlo Park, Calif., facilities on Oct. 17.

Componentized, Lego-like Data Centers. Now *THATS* innovative!

Photo Credit: Sun Microsystems


2006-10-17 14:44:02
This is so cool!!!
2006-10-17 16:15:58
Isn't that what Google was doing? Not for sale - just for themselves...
M. David Peterson
2006-10-17 19:17:29

Isn't it! This is the kind of stuff that changes industries overnight. Similar to what Amazon has done for the "little guy" with S3 and EC2, in my own opinion, this is going to force the entire corporate industry to rethink how they approach their corporate networks. Instead of building and extending their existing data centers, just call FedEx and have them ship you a new container overnight. ;)

Hell, if the CTO was willing to give up his parking space, they might not even need to build a wherehouse "out back" to store it in :D

M. David Peterson
2006-10-17 19:23:05

I'm not sure... Hadn't heard anything in regards to this, but if they did, it seems that they should have considered thinking just slightly more out-of-the-blackbox and look at this from the standpoint that Sun has just delivered on.

First to market it most certainly an important aspect of *ANY* industry, and the very fact that the first into this particular market is a company which is firmly planted as a leader in the hardware industry only adds to the fact that if this takes off like it seems it could, they're in a VERY good position to push that stock price back up to where it should be.

Guess we'll see, but none-the-less, this is something pretty cool. :)

2006-10-18 08:41:40
I can't wait to hear the first report of a Repo man coming to pick one of these things up - snip snip grab
M. David Peterson
2006-10-18 10:37:21

:D :D :D

The day I'm looking forward to is the day that "Blackbox" beats out whatever Honda model happens to be on top of the "Most Stolen Vehicle" report. ;) The day that happens is the day Project Blackbox proves to be as successful as I think it will be.

DISCLAIMER: If you're a C-level type and read this comment, yes this is something you need to be careful about, though not something that should worry you. Stealing a car that has an engine and wheels is one thing. Steeling what looks to be about a 10 ton shipping container without wheels, engine (at least the kind of engine you would need to create physical and forward motion), etc... would require a bit more than a slim jim and a wratchet to get off the lot. By the time someone even approached one of these things, enough "alarms" will have been set off to ensure the entire local police force will be on the scene in *PLENTY* of time to ensure that sucker ain't gonna go *NOWHERE* ;)

Now go buy one for you and the wife*! ;)

* I wonder if they come in red? ;)

2006-10-18 12:26:47
I want to see a fleet of these pulled around by a diesel engine - on Rails, obv ;)
Warren Grant
2006-10-18 12:34:10
If they made them more like Lego bricks you could build your datacenter using these for the walls :)
M. David Peterson
2006-10-18 14:27:32


Actually, if they could provide a water proof cover in various shapes and sizes, buy them in groups of fours, align them as a square, stack them as necessary, cover the top, you could call the middle "office space"!

A sure sign of a great technology is when others find ways to use them that the original designers never considered... Okay, so maybe this one isn't such a great idea, but it is an idea, so I think technically speaking this can definitely be used as a measure as to whether or not Project Blackbox is bound for greatness. ;)

M. David Peterson
2006-10-18 14:49:47

This could revitalize Amtrak! ;)

w00t, w00t! ;)

W. Wyse
2007-04-08 09:50:59
This looks like its tailor made for the Military and other 3 letter organizations. Just need to armor it to avoid in transit damage.
2008-08-10 09:41:33
WOW datacenter !!!