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Sun Preps Blackbox; Google Rumors To Follow

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Sun Microsystems has a datacenter in a shipping container, called Project Blackbox, on the verge of being officially announced. We have seen such a construct mentioned elsewhere.

We would be criminally remiss if we did not take you back to November 2005, where what was very likely a Project Blackbox prototype had been spotted at Google’s headquarters, and duly passed along to tech pundit Robert X. Cringely.

He had connected the mysterious and off-limits portable datacenter as something Google could have trucked to and linked in to the various points where the company could connect the datacenters to the dark fiber Google has purchased in substantial quantities.

We suggested one potential use for such datacenters would be to support video advertising by dropping them near peering points all over the US. To wit:

Forget about latency if Google drops one of these off at a peering point near you. High-bandwidth and low cost means Google can deliver streaming video content without a hiccup.


Then the story kind of faded away amid chatter about GoogleNet, Ajax-powered office productivity suites, and even Google Cubes populating mailboxes like so many AOL CDs. Almost a year passes.

Now, Dean Takahashi at the Mercury News has dished the early peek at Sun’s Blackbox, which will reportedly debut today. They won’t be available until the middle of 2007, but look at what website/recent Google purchase received a mention from a Sun rep:

Sun’s Blackbox data center will be designed to fit a variety of customer needs. Sun says Project Blackbox is a good fit for fast-growing firms such as YouTube that have to add computing capacity quickly to deal with huge increases in traffic.


Google and Sun have had a long-standing friendly relationship, and Sun envisions other types of usage for their Blackbox. But considering Sun’s economic doldrums, is it unreasonable to think that Sun undertook Project Blackbox with a potential sale to Google in mind?

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Sun Preps Blackbox; Google Rumors To Follow
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