A couple of companies have recently come out with the proposal to squeeze Data Centers in a “box” (it’s a box as big as a container, but the concept is no different.) As much as I appreciate the end goal of simplifying DC deployments and management, I am not quite sure that is the right way to go,… yet.My first reaction to Sun’s introduction of the BlackBox project was that it was a nice proof of concept, but not really something an enterprise could use today. But I did not discount Sun’s proposal as Sun is a company that has been historically capable of being a few years ahead of the market. And when I say ahead of the market, I do not just mean ahead of the competition, but also ahead of customers and their ability to understand, purchase and use their products. I was thus very intrigued to see their announcement of Project BlackBox last fall, but I was not really convinced that customers would buy into that so easily.Today, I saw the announcement that Rackable Systems is doing something similar. Of course there are still little information about this, but I am not sure about how a Company that has built their reputation and market presence mostly on low-power server architectures will be able to deliver on something so much bigger as an entire Data Center in a box, where you also have storage, networks, security services, scalability services, application optimization,…This topic was recently discussed on ZDNet with rumors that Microsoft may be an early adopter of portable Data Centers:
Portable data centers: Will Microsoft prime the demand pump? by ZDNet‘s Larry Dignan — Microsoft may be giving the nascent portable data center market a lift. Data Center Knowledge via Slashdot connects a few dots-including a some from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley-to conclude that Microsoft may be an early adopter of the portable data centers championed by Sun (right), Rackable and others. These data center in a box concepts have [...]
Anyway, my point here is not so much to critique or applaud either Sun or Rackable, but really to ask my fellow bloggers their opinion on whether or not we are ready to put DCs in a box. I think it’s clear that I am personally not convinced, but before telling you why, I will probably wait to see if anybody cares enough about this to even post a comment and then I will tell you more about my thoughts…A wonderful and peaceful Spring break to all of the readers!