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UPS, Generators Join Servers For Boxed Data Centers 63

miller60 writes "As more companies look into using a 'data center in a box,' you can now get your UPS and generator in a box as well. HP and Sun have begun offering containerized power and cooling infrastructure along with their data center containers, offering an expansion path for facility owners that have run out of power and cooling capacity. Microsoft also plans to use containerized power and cooling in its next-generation facilities, allowing it to build them with no roofs (remember its tent data centers?)."
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UPS, Generators Join Servers For Boxed Data Centers

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  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by Van Cutter Romney ( 973766 ) <sriram.venkatara ... minus pi> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:21PM (#26818097)

    UPS and generator in a box

    Now, what can brown do for you?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    No roof but the design is undeniably flawed due to excess Windows.

    Thanks, I'm here all week.

    • Thanks, I'm here all weak.

      There, fixed that for you.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      So maybe there really is something to the accusations [] of MS squandering cash for R&D... why else would they be running production servers in tents.

      The economy isn't that bad, is it?

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:26PM (#26818167)
    ... more and more things that you can get (NSFW) in a box [] all the time.
  • Nothing New (Score:5, Informative)

    by madsci1016 ( 1111233 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:28PM (#26818205) Homepage
    Generators and climate control built into containers is not a new idea at all. Traveling carnivals have used generators in containers for decades. The same for air conditioning for outdoor boat shows. The fact that Sun is just offering the option to go with boxed data centers when costumers could have easily just contracted out to a generator company instead isn't news.
    • by cryfreedomlove ( 929828 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:38PM (#26818349)
      Yes, I've always seen a lot of parallels between IT and traveling carnivals. They both share an ability to provide steady employment for anti-social freaks.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by sexconker ( 1179573 )

        Not to mention working for peanuts.

        • Computer science/engineering graduates have average starting salaries far in excess of median household incomes in the US. I wouldn't call that peanuts, especially for starting salaries.

          • Maybe he's talking about being a sysadmin. In that case, I'll draw another comparison to the circus and call them trained monkeys.

    • Well that explains the number of FPS maps involving containers. Apparently I was just running amok in a datacenter / carnival generator storage facility. Who knew?
  • by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:30PM (#26818233)
    It seems the future is flexible, expandable, customizable. The future is moving to interchangeable, physical modules of enterprise. The Future is the most awesome LEGO blocks project ever!
    • by PrescriptionWarning ( 932687 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:36PM (#26818327)
      No way, these are way bigger... like Duplos
    • It seems the future is flexible, expandable, customizable. The future is moving to interchangeable, physical modules of enterprise.

      Yes, in the future, entrepreneurs won't simply be able to build a business model on plugging box A into plug B, marking-up the result 10%, and calling it a 'product,' or doing it once a week, marking up the labor 50% and calling it "consulting." The business concerns of the future will be free of this and limited only by the quality of their ideas.

      We're doomed.

      • the quality of the idea is that 50% markup. That's because YOU don't have contacts to hire the same people and get the same output.
        Also, a large part of consulting is "experts". They have a contract to buy 100 generators a year... they know who to call, and how much to spend in minutes, not days unlike you. A consulting firm can pool resources to keep a few highly trained professionals that know their stuff and they get experience beyond what your company would have servicing many businesses.

  • That beats my idea of a data center in a brown paper sack.

    • That beats my idea of a data center in a brown paper sack.

      Of course if you cool the sack improperly it will result in fire. The person stomping out your data center will find the sack at that point filled with shit that used to be your data center.

  • How long will it be before these containers use a self contained nuclear fusion based generator?
  • This is exactly the second time I've seen the word "containerized" used in print.

    The first time was when I moved into an apartment in a new town some years ago, and when I got the trash pick-up set up they gave me a piece of paper with trash and recycling info on it, which included the lovely sentence "all garbage must be containerized."


  • Step one. Cut a hole in the box.
    Step two. Put your data center in the box.
    Step three. Get her to open the box.
  • I'm still waiting for the PC power supply with a built in battery backup...

    Think: AC -> PS -> DC -> Battery -> Motherboard or something along those lines.

    That may be small potatoes to this story though...

    • It's called a laptop.

      • Yeah, I don't know why that sort of setup hasn't been adapted for PCs yet. You are still stuck buying an external UPS with an inverter and all that loss.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        Which is no good for production servers. Although the fold-up screen and built-in keyboard may be useful for software emergencies, popping a laptop open to swap out a dead FRU is a bitch, and you require some sort of PCMCIA SAS card to attach to an external chassis w/ external RAID controller to have any ability to use multiple hard drives for redundancy.

    • Not worth it. They would be too big to fit inside standard cases, you wouldn't be able to power accessories (eg: external harddrive, other stuff that shouldn't be turned off)

      Also, UPSs are pretty efficient, there isn't too much extra loss converting to AC and back. There is no need for this.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        There are cases where you have no external hardware of importance (e.g. servers). Energy is at a premium, space is not.

        A UPS may be pretty efficient, but there is still a huge amount of loss that occurs converting AC to DC and back to AC and back to DC again, VS one conversion to DC.

        Even if it's just a 20% loss, it certainly adds up for equipment that has high runtimes.

        Also, UPS efficiency is not something that stays high constantly.

        On most UPSes, the efficiency will be extremely poor at low loads

    • My PC already has this... Only problem is the battery is only big enough to run the clock.
  • Trane manufactures packaged units. [] The "HVAC system in a box" unit has existed for decades. In fact, I have one on my house (best money I ever spent ... got that noisy blower outside.) Granted, it's not in a sea-freight container, but it's about the same overhead to connect to your server-cluster-in-a-box. What's next? Cubicle in a box?

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!