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Taking datacentres on the road

Is it a truck? Is it a giant portable wind tunnel? Well, yes -- but it's also a mobile datacentre with a maximum capacity of 4.1 petabytes of storage, which would easily hold an awful lot of high-res Superman footage.
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By Angus Kidman on
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1 of 4 Angus Kidman/ZDNet Australia
In San Francisco, it's not unusual to see technology advertising on the side of vehicles -- we can't imagine too many other cities would be flooded with taxis proclaiming that Oracle has the "fastest growing middleware", for example. But this isn't actually an ad, it's a datacentre -- the Rackable Ice Cube, complete with its own power supply on a trailer. (The adjacent building wasn't willing to share its power.)

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2 of 4 Angus Kidman/ZDNet Australia

Inside the Ice Cube: This is looking more like standard datacentre territory, although not many datacentres run regular tours or attract a steady stream of camera-wielding fans (at least not in our experience). There's also office space included, though it was too filled with gawping administrators and product brochures to be worth photographing.

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3 of 4 Angus Kidman/ZDNet Australia

Rackable fitted out its demonstration vehicle with a full contingent of its Eco-Logical servers; not every business is likely to need that much computing power that quickly. (Insert your own "full rack" joke here.)

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4 of 4 Angus Kidman/ZDNet Australia

Rackable's fan-less system effectively sucks the heat away from each blade. The end result? All your extremities will turn blue if you stay in here too long. The company claims this can save more than 80 percent on traditional datacentre cooling costs.

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