When word first emerged about Sun's Project Blackbox, many industry watchers immediately thought of a column a year ago from PBS tech pundit Robert X. Cringley describing a similar product sighted at Google. Cringely today weighs in with his own impressions of Sun's initiative, and echoes an observation I made in the comments of our earlier post on the topic:
Companies with huge data centers will use Blackboxes like school districts these days use portable classrooms, distributing them as the computing load requires with installations that will be called temporary but may well end up being permanent, at least in terms of computer-years. And the part Sun really hopes for, of course, is that big customers will keep a Blackbox or two around just in case of emergencies. At $2 million per container, a couple hundred standby units mean real money to Sun, which could use it.
Cringley says the next step is the 'data center in an air freight container' for even faster deployment, and snarkily speculates as to how many could fit in the GoogleJet.