Aussies buy two Sun Blackboxes

Sun Microsystems has sold two of its Project Blackbox "datacentre in a shipping container" products in Australia over the last year, the company revealed last week.

Sun Microsystems has sold two of its Project Blackbox "datacentre in a shipping container" products in Australia over the last year, the company revealed last week.

Sun's modular datacentre faces hostile Australian environments.
(Cartoon by Christine Lee and Alex Serpo/ZDNet.com.au)

Formerly known as "Project BlackBox", and later renamed to the Sun Modular Datacentre, the offering is a complete virtualised datacentre in a shipping container. A similar concept is available from IBM. Sun's offering went on sale in Australia in January 2008.

Sam Tan, a systems product marketing manager at Sun's Australian office, said the company had sold one unit to "a large telco customer", and that a second was also being shipped. Tan declined to say who had bought the hardware. In addition to the local sales, Tan said that between 15 and 18 units had been sold globally.

Significant international customers include Hansen Transmissions (Belgium), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (Netherlands), and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (US).

Priced at between $550,000 and $750,000, the units contain eight racks with a maximum capacity of 25kW. Sun offers two models, the S20 and the D20.

Tan said the units were aimed at customers who "have a datacentre, but need to grow, and don't have space to grow, or customers that need a temporary datacentre solution while they are building their new datacentre."

Tan added that interest had come from customers who wanted datacentres in "hostile environments".