The ultimate mobile computer?

Remember when laptops were the size of suitcases with mono screens and 5¼ inch disks? Over the last twenty five years mobile computers have got smaller and smaller, culminating in the UMPC devices that Microsoft are certain that we all need.

Sun and Google are going the other way.. Have a look at the latest Sun concept server:

Sun Shipping Container Computer

An example on their website says that the box could have the following spec:

  • A single Project Blackbox could accommodate 250 Sun Fire T1000 servers with the CoolThreads technology with 2000 cores and 8000 simultaneous threads.
  • A single Project Blackbox could accommodate 250 x64-based servers with 1000 cores.
  • A single Project Blackbox could provide as much as 1.5 petabytes of disk storage or 2 petabytes of energy-efficient tape storage.
  • A single Project Blackbox could provide 7 terabytes of memory.
  • A single Project Blackbox could handle up to 10,000 simultaneous desktop users.
  • A single Project Blackbox currently has sufficient power and cooling to support 200 kilowatts of rackmounted equipment.

If Sun starts to produce this then you would be able to give them a call and get a top 200 computer delivered by noon the following day. All you have to supply is some fibre into your network, power and water for the cooling system. This would be significantly cheaper and faster to implement than building out your existing data centre plus you can be creative; put it in the car park, in a warehouse or maybe on the roof!

Whilst Sun are prototyping this product industry rumours are that Google are a bit further down the track, already having a shipping container ready to go. If that is the case then Google could quickly grow across the World’s peering points which could be good or could be bad… Let’s hope that Google remains true to their own ‘we’re not evil’ PR.


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