Sun Updates Blackbox for Deeper Racks

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Sun Microsystems (JAVA) has expanded its line of “Blackbox” data center containers with the Sun MD D20, which reconfigures the unit’s original design to accommodate several racks of deeper servers. The D20 opens the Sun containers to a broader range of rack-mounted servers, since deeper 1U servers are often used for database applications and disaster recovery solutions that require larger amounts of disk and tape.

The original Sun MD S20 featured eight racks in a 20-foot shipping container, including seven racks for servers and one for network and internal control equipment. The D20 has room for seven racks, including four with a usable depth of 78.1 cm while the remaining three have usable depth of 115 cm (see diagram above). As a result, the D20 can hold 240 rack units, compared to 280 for the S20.

Sun says the D20 can support a number os servers that wouldn’t fit in the S20, including the Sun SPARC Enterprise M4000 and M5000 servers, Sun StorageTek SL500 Modular Library, and the Sun StorageTek 9985V System. Sun MD also supports third-party equipment in both the standard and deep rack models.

The Sun MD S20 is a data center housed in a 20-foot long shipping container that can support hundreds of servers. Sun announced the project in Oct. 2006 as Project Blackbox, and the first unit was shipped to a Stanford University laboratory in July 2007.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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