Thursday, November 02, 2006

Space, Time, and Containers

A technology as simple as standardizing the size and couplings of a box has utterly transformed global commerce over the past 40 years. Without containerization, it would've been impossible to move American factory production to China and move economic activity from suburban malls to exurban Walmarts.

Will the Blackbox transform urban space again?

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz emphasizes efficiency, "Project Blackbox starts from the world's most broadly adopted industry standard, the shipping container, and asks how can we most efficiently create modular, lights-out data centers from this base? The answer? With one-hundredth of the initial cost, one-fifth the cost per square foot, and with 20 percent more power efficiency, we can deliver an immense multiple of capacity and capability, anywhere on earth."

Speed may be even more important. For companies looking to rapdily expand the infrastrucutre for web services, the Blackbox will allow companies to add two petabytes of storage capacity much more quickly that it would take to construct a bricks and mortar data warehouse. Internet speed accelerates again.

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