Feeds

Dell samples shrooms for server shipping

Magic mushroom packaging

Reducing security risks from open source software

Dell will begin shipping its PowerEdge R710 rack server in übergreen packaging made from – wait for it – mushrooms.

"While it sounds unusual, this is an advanced biotechnology," writes Dell procurement director Oliver Campbell on the Direct2Dell blog, calling mushroom packaging "a way to utilize common agricultural waste products such as cotton, rice, and wheat chaff to replace styrofoam and polyethylene used as cushioning for packaging and other applications."

Not that the packaging will be made solely from cotton, rice, and wheat chaff. Rather, mushroom mycelium will be grown in and bind with those agricultural by-poducts to create the packaging..

Although Campbell's blog post did not specifically mention the supplier of their magical mushroom tech, the process of growing the packaging material that he described is identical to that used by Ecovative Design in its EcoCradle packaging system.

Ecovative Design touts EcoCradle as being "at the forefront of the bio-materials revolution," and praises fungi as "playing an indispensable role in breaking down organic matter and [being] key to planetary health."

In the EcoCradle process, says Ecovative Design, "This mycelium grows around agricultural by-products like buckwheat husks, oat hulls, or cotton burrs to any shape we make. In 5 - 7 days, in the dark, with no watering, and no petrochemical inputs, the mycelium envelops the by-products, binding them into a strong and beautiful packaging part."

Beauty, of course, is in the green eye of the beholder – but Ecovative Design is certainly high on mushroom stats. "Inside every cubic inch of EcoCradle, there's a matrix of 8 miles of tiny mycelial fibers!", they write.

And don't worry about spreading fungi throughout your data center. "At the end of the process," Ecovative Design writes, "we treat EcoCradle with heat to stop the growth so there will never be any spores."

Dell's pilot program will up the green ante by using the company's Multipack packaging: four PowerEdge R710s will be nestled into the same container, each protected by mushroom mycelium–based cushioning.

Campbell assures Dell's customers that the mushroom packaging is more than up to the task of protecting its PowerEdge R710s. "We've tested the mushroom cushioning extensively in the lab to ensure it meets our same high standards to safely protect our products during shipment – and it passed like a champ." ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.