Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Data Center in a Can

This is a fascinating paper from Microsoft Research on the use of densely packed servers in a shipping container.
The units are designed to successfully transport delicate goods in extreme conditions and routinely spend weeks at a time on the decks of cargo ships in rough ocean conditions and survive severe storms. ... Each module includes networking gear, compute nodes, persistent storage, etc. The modules are self-contained with enough redundancy that, as parts fail, surviving nodes continue to support the load
When I first heard about this I thought, big deal, water cooled, densely packed components in a big steal can sound like the machine rooms of the 60's through the 80's. But the ruggedized nature of the shipping container, and the portability aspects are pretty cool.

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