Just about every briefing I have with vendors of containerized datacenters ends with me asking to talk to customers and the vendor hemming and hawing about why their customers don't want to talk to the media. So it was somewhat surprising to see HP's announcement yesterday about the purchase of an HP POD datacenter container by Purdue University.
Purdue has been driving its IT resources to support ongoing research by adding clusters to its datacenter every year for the past three years as part of its plan to double the current research efforts supported by computing resources at the university. And while the HP press release doesn't explicitly state it as a fact, it would appear that the container is going to be used for the university's next generation supercomputer codename "Rossman."
The new supercomputer is composed of a 1000 node HP Luster Platform 4000, which is configured using HP ProLiant DL 165z G7 servers, each equipped with two 12-core AMD Opteron 6100 server processors. HP claims that this cluster will deliver 3 times the cores and memory per node of over previous clusters. These servers have a 1U profile and the 40 foot HP POD container can support up to 3,350 1U servers, so there will be significant space available for storage or other computing solutions within the POD.
I've been told, anecdotally, of other research efforts running in containerized datacenters, but I'm still looking for the business utilization success story that will define the containerized datacenter market.