Data center containers are gaining traction, and Sun Microsystems (JAVA) is the latest company to reveal a new customer. A Sun MD S20 (Blackbox) unit has been bought and installed by the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Joerg Schwarz of Sun has photos showing the process of installing a Sun Modular Data Center, including detailed views of the preparation of the pad. As with several previous installations, the "Blackbox" is actually white (I guess the black version with the green logo looked better in marketing brochures).
Sun was the first company to make headlines when it introduced the "data center in a box" concept in October 2006. Container-based data centers have since been introduced by Rackable Systems (RACK), Verari Systems and most recently by IBM (IBM) with its iDataPlex series.
Here's a recap of the other Sun MD customer deployments that have been made public:
- The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) became the first site to deploy a Sun MD last July, using the unit to boost its scientific computing capacity by a third. The SLAC has since purchased a second unit.
- Mobile Telesystems, the largest mobile phone operator in Russia, has deployed several Blackboxes to manage remote operations.
- Belgium-based Hansen Transmissions is employing Sun MD S20s in its program to expand wind turbine and industrial gearbox manufacturing facilities in India and China.
- 30 Blackbox units will be lowered into a former coal mine located 100 meters under the ground in Japan's Chubu region. Sun is part of an 11-company joint venture building the data center, with other partners including Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ and BearingPoint (BE).