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Sun Modular Datacenter

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Title: Sun Modular Datacenter  
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Subject: Sun Microsystems, Intermodal container, Data center, Shipping container architecture, Modular data center
Collection: Data Centers, Intermodal Containers, Modular Datacenter, Sun Microsystems Hardware
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sun Modular Datacenter

A Sun Modular Datacenter on display at the Sun Microsystems Executive Briefing Center in Menlo Park, California

Sun Modular Datacenter (Sun MD, known in the prototype phase as Project Blackbox) is a portable data center built into a standard 20-foot intermodal container (shipping container) manufactured and marketed by Sun Microsystems (which is now owned by Oracle Corporation). An external chiller and power are required for the operation of a Sun MD. A data center of up to 280 servers can be rapidly deployed by shipping the container in a regular way to locations that might not be suitable for a building or another structure, and connecting it to the required infrastructure.[1] Sun Microsystems states that the system can be made operational for 1% of the cost of building a traditional data center.[2]


  • Customers 1
  • History 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


On 14 July 2007, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) deployed a Sun MD containing 252 Sun Fire X2200 compute nodes as a compute farm.[3][4] Other customers include Radboud University.[5]

In 2009, the Internet Archive migrated its digital archive onto Sun Modular Datacenter.[6]


The prototype was first announced as "Project Blackbox" in October 2006;[7] the official product was announced in January 2008.[8]

A Project Blackbox with 1088 Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processors ranked #412 on the June 2007 TOP500 list.[9]

In late 2003, employees of the Internet Archive wrote a paper proposing "an outdoor petabyte JBOD NAS box" of sufficient capacity to store the then-current Archive in a 40' shipping container.[10] The first implementation of the concept have been realized using Sun Microsystems' Modular Datacenters in March 2009.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Sun Modular Datacenter S20 - Technical Specifications". 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  2. ^ M. Mitchell Waldrop - "Data Center In a Box", Scientific American, August 2007
  3. ^ "SLAC Prepares for First Blackbox to Expand Computing Power". SLAC Today. 2007-06-20. 
  4. ^ "SLAC's Newest Computing Center Arrives... by Truck". SLAC Today. 2007-07-25. 
  5. ^ Rich Miller (2008-01-29). "'"Sun Rebrands Blackbox as 'Sun MD. Data Center Knowledge (IDG TechNetwork). Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  6. ^ "Internet Archive and Sun Microsystems Create Living History of the Internet".  
  7. ^ "Sun Unveils The Future of Virtualized Datacenters – Project Blackbox" (Press release). Sun Microsystems, Inc. 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  8. ^ "Sun Modular Datacenter Fuels Momentum With New Customer Wins In Manufacturing, Healthcare, HPC And Telco". Sun Microsystems. 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  9. ^ "Sun Project Blackbox". TOP500 Supercomputing Sites. June 2007. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  10. ^ Bruce Baumgart; Matt Laue (2003-11-08). "Petabyte Box for Internet Archive" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  11. ^ "Internet Archive and Sun Microsystems Create Living History of the Internet". Sun.COM. March 2009. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 

External links

  • Sun Modular Datacenter S20 Product Library Documentation
  • Project Blackbox Blog
  • Blackbox Earthquake Resistance and Reliability Test Video on YouTube
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