Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/29/sun_four_blackbox/

Sun nails four buyers in 15 months with White Trash Data Center

COPS: Silicon Valley

By Ashlee Vance

Posted in Servers, 29th January 2008 21:30 GMT

Sun Microsystems has spent of lot of time insisting that customers actually want to buy some of its white trash, trailerized data centers. And now the company has a press release to back up its insistiation.

The lone, public customer for the Sun Modular Datacenter - aka "Project Blackbox," aka "We'll see you in the Silicon Valley episode of COPS - to date had been the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). It would seem that SLAC loves its data center so much that it ordered a second unit. And, get this, Hansen Transmissions, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (UMCN) and Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) have all bought boxes as well.

So, er, we now know Sun has sold at least five Modular Datacenters (MDs) since it unveiled the system in Oct. 2006.

If our hilarious jabs didn't make it clear, Sun has crafted a complete data center that makes its way to customers in a standard shipping container. You can pick and choose the amount of servers and storage you'd like. Sun then bundles that together, runs some cooling through the unit, paints it whatever color you like, throws in a wife beater and mails off the system, which is more or less a supercomputer equivalent unit.

Sun and Rackable Systems have led the charge around this idea, believing that customers tight on data center space or in need of lots of computing real fast will buy the gear. Basically, you plunk a data center down in your parking lot or at a remote site - anywhere really so long as it has access to power and water.

The Sun system starts at more than $500,000.

Sun insiders claim that they've sold a lot more Sun MDs than they can talk about out loud. For example, government customers - one of the target markets - don't like to talk about their purchases. And many companies prefer to keep their IT buys secret as well.

Have you seen a Sun MD in your parking lot? Send us a photo. Anonymity assured. ®