Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

Datacenter-in-a-box


I like Sun Microsystems. Sure, I’ve never bought anything from them but then I’m not really in their target market — if I was, I’d have desks and rooms full of their kit. I like the innovation; the blogging CEO, the eco-awareness (as in ecological==economical), and the shear technical smarts they have.
Sun’s latest innovation: a datacenter in a shipping container. Connect power, network and water and you have a fully-functional computing center. If a machine fails, others pick up the slack. It’s designed for computers, not humans, so manual maintenance is infrequent. The shipping container is based on the idea that it is the largest unit size they could reasonably ship. It’s trackable, remotely monitorable, stackable, rugged and can be placed just about anywhere.


Need computing power to support disaster relief efforts? Fly one in and hook it up.


Need a eco-friendly computing power? Stick it next to a wind turbine or hydro-electric dam.


Need to expand your computing power but can’t fit expand the data centre in your building? Just install one of the roof.


Ok, so the scenarios night need some work (I expect that in a disaster you’d prefer a container full food or blankets rather than Sun computers) but God!, I love the vision it must take to come up with this idea, invent the product and belief there’s a market for it. I only worry that their technical innovation won’t be enough to save the bottom line.