Washington D.C. and more road snapshots and commentary!

We are at various sites around Washington DC. Attendance remains high, often exceeding 100 people per tour stop!

The rack removal tool is a big hit on the tour, the prototype is shown below. The rack removal tool slides underneath a rack. Once underneath, you move the lever over and the tool then lifts up the entire rack, very smoothly. Once the rack is lifted up, you slide the rack out (while the rack remains powered and connected). The tool can also help take a rack out of the container (at which point it does have to be unplugged from the network within the container).

Keep in mind that there are also "shock absorbers" on the racks. Rack shock absorbers are not something new to Project Blackbox and are in fact well traveled in data centers that get jostled around, use your imagination there.

Its important to remember that the Project Blackbox container is not an "entirely" self-contained data center, though you could certainly think of it as one of the modules for a data center. External to the container you still require a power source (generator) and potentially a chiller (these come in various sizes but one chiller and one generator may be able to service multiple containers) and a water source. As you look at the length of the truck bed and semi in this photo, you can see a chiller in front of the container and there is a generator further up.

Coming up on the Project Blackbox tour blog...I have put a 'hit' out (in Sopranos terminology) to get a picture of a tour guide pulling a rack out with the rack tool in live action as well as a picture of the shock absorber. When the tour stops in Broomfield I'm considering having them pull the rack out so I can have my son jump on the rack and see if the shock absorbers are as good as his trampoline. We'll see if I can get away with that...

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Comments:

Unfortunately I hadn't read this before going to see the blackbox in DC. Although I did pull the rack out myself...not surprisingly it was not especially easy to move. Lots of dead weight.

Posted by Shawn Ferry on March 02, 2007 at 01:01 PM MST #

We are definitely working on making the rack tool a bit smoother when pulling racks out and putting them back in, our serviceability review pointed that out. I used the rack tool in SFO this weekend, it is very easy to lift the rack up, but that initial pull of the rack out of its location is what you are referring to. Yes, you do need a good solid pull. There are a few months before revenue release to work on this but for the prototype and the quickly coming early access releases, think of it as an opportunity to get a work out :-)

-Paul-

Posted by Paul Monday on March 04, 2007 at 02:21 AM MST #

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