Thursday Nov 01, 2007

Driving Project Blackbox

Have you ever wondered how you get a semi carrying a modular data center into a lunch room for a group of tour attendees? Denise Dipaola edited this video of our tour truck entering CEC a couple of weeks ago. It is a classic, up there with the video of the shake test.

Note: Moved to a pop-up window to avoid long load times.
Driving Project Blackbox

I have to ask after watching the video though, how do they keep that rig so shiny? Seriously, don't they ever hit a puddle or something? If I drove the thing around it would be covered in mud and have all sorts of water bottles and Halloween candy all over it.

Thanks for the video Denise and thanks for posting Laurent!

Speaking of "driving in", I have pictures of our Calgary stop that should be wrapping up real soon now. Once its closed up, the truck will be shipping out to Reno, a whopping 1,300 miles away...a 30 hour drive.

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Wednesday Oct 10, 2007

Project Blackbox = Supercomputer #412 + CEC Photo of the Day

Top 500 Supercomputer Sites tracks the top 500 (duh) supercomputer sites across the planet. When you sift down through the list and work your way to number 412 in the June 2007 list you will find...yupp...a Project Blackbox configuration.

This particular configuration contains 1,088 processors, 4,480GB Memory and has a theoretical peak of 5,658 GFlops! This particular installation is built with our own Sun Blade 8000 system line with an Infiniband interconnect, here's the stock photo of one of the Sun Blade 8000 chassis that fits into a Project Blackbox rack:

What is interesting about the ranking on the Top 500 Supercomputer chart is that the Project Blackbox is being treated as a compute node, rather than a bunch of racks of single node equipment. Welcome to the world of the grid.

Remember though, we don't confine you to one of our system types, we have a list of qualified servers and storage that we keep up to date. You aren't even confined to Sun equipment. Project Blackbox is a modular datacenter...how many datacenters are completely homogeneous?

On a separate note, I received this excellent shot from CEC in Las Vegas (you can tell by the CEC backpacks they are wearing). These two attendees are looking into the corridor of the container standing in the inner hatch doors.

Remember, this is a very early unit and if you look at the left outer door you will notice there is no insulation on the doors. Our newer units added insulation here to increase efficiency and our ability to maintain the inner environment.

Keep the pictures coming.

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Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

CEC Attendees! Send snapshots!!!!!!!

The new leg of the U.S. tour kicked off in style at the Customer Engineering Conference (CEC) in Las Vegas. In this snapshot, you can see the Project Blackbox tour unit provides an elegant backdrop to go with the boxed lunches :-)

Also, we received this picture of the connections between the Project Blackbox tour unit and the generator. I promise, I didn't bundle those...you should see the mess of power cords underneath my desk.

Now, here's what I need from the CEC attendees. We know you are there with your digital cameras and camera phones. Could you take a minute and either


  • Send a link to your blog about Project Blackbox with your pictures
  • Send pictures directly to my Sun Account (paul dot monday at sun dot com)

I will get as many posted as I can along with credit! Remember...unique, artistic, mechanical, all score extra points. Feel free to send any technical write-ups or details that would go well with the picture...it doesn't have to be the marketing stuff either...talk about Sun Spots, the machines in the box, what you would do with cabling, your labeling solution, or even give a shout out to your friends from the PBb blog with a picture of yourself!

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