Sun Microsystems, Inc. has unveiled the Project Blackbox, a system that provides a simple, "instant-on" modular datacentre targeting companies seeking rapid 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 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. A single Blackbox could hold 250 Sun Fire servers, provide two petabytes of storage, or provide seven terabytes of memory.
The module is a pre-configured, fully contained datacentre on a standard shipping container 8×8 wide and tall and 20 feet long, 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.
Sun sees the Project Blackbox being used for quick web 2.0 build-outs for companies that have an ongoing need for datacentre space, yet don't have the time to design or build it. The company also thinks the Project BlackBox can be applied to advanced military applications and on developing nations bringing instant-on computing facilities to locations that lack the power and networking infrastructure to support a traditional datacentre.
Project Blackbox is currently in the late prototype phase. Sun has begun working with early customers, with early commercial availability slated for mid-2007.