Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sun Blackbox Dos and Don'ts

From the desk of Jack Loftus: This is a work of satire. It is humor, and should be read as such. No Sun servers were harmed in the writing of this article.

Just the other day, as I was touring a real live data center as part of an effort to appear busy, a thought occurred to me that had never struck the ol' grey matter before.

The thought was: This would look great in a trailer.

Nothing fancy mind you, just a little 20'x8' windowless abode that my servers and cables and an administrator could call home. Windows, as you probably know, breed thoughts of going outside and fun and fresh air and therefore hamper productivity. Like vacation days and clocks, they have no place in my DC.

So you can imagine my great surprise when Sun Microsystems, the plucky vendor that graced us all with modern marketing marvels like Sun Grid, unveiled a literal Winnebago of sorts that I could throw on a flatbed, put my DC in, and then take it. When the world gives you Linux lemons, make OpenSolaris lemonade, right Sun?

To make things even better, they even allowed an elite cadre of data center journalists to go inside of a demo unit. The unit has dual doors apparently, so Sun was able to swing them both wide open and accommodate all of those egos at once. Quite a feat in engineering. Site Editor Matt Stansberry said Sun's PR people had Crisco on hand to help get him out of the Blackbox.

"Pile in," said Sun CEO and resident rock star Jonathan Schwartz, "we're going to crank this DC up to 11." That's right kids; the hair isn't just for show.

From Stansberry's article on the announcement: "Companies that wish to use the prefabricated data centers can simply roll them up to their buildings and plug them in -- water chillers, AC power and backup generators not included."

I agree, and as a moonlighting thief myself, I’d encourage the rest of my ilk to wait until nightfall and "simply roll" the prefab DC onto an idling truck and drive it away to China for some serious black market cash.

Sun also said that the trailers could be outfitted with other vendor's hardware should the customer require it, which led this literally thinking journo to inquire: "Then why don't people just go buy a trailer from a dump and fill it themselves?" Unfortunately, I was sitting alone at my desk at the time and my monitor didn't say anything, as usual.

Now, it's still very early in the Sun Blackbox program, but already I have managed to compile a list of activities the curious DC admin should and should not do with one of these things.

DO place you Sun Blackbox in your front yard on cement blocks
DO NOT place your Sun Blackbox near the Superdome
DO appear trendy and decorate the side with 7EEt speak phrases like "My Blackbox is the suxx00r!"
DO NOT decorate the sides with phrases like "steal me"
DO engage in team building exercises and allow stressed out administrators access to a crane so they can play "Sun Blackbox Tetris"
DO NOT use vodka instead of water to cool the servers
DO have the occasional rave and install a working wet bar
DO NOT place Sun Blackboxes on the cliff edges or very steep hills.
DO buy a thousand units if you are the U.S. Government and then leave them unlocked. Laptop theft is so passé
DO NOT enter your Sun Blackbox in a tractor pull

Jack Loftus is News Writer for


At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Beth said...

Best. Techtarget editorial blog post. Ever.

Completely classic. Thanks for this.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger matt_stansberry said...

All kidding aside, I really think this starts to answer a question we asked a few months ago.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny Stuff. Who's gonna be the first person to tell the CIO that someone stole the DC? Does this mean to be redundant you need 2?

At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: Can we use someone elses Hardware?
Answer: Yes.
Result: 2 hulking men in shades and darksuits usher said trouble maker out of the container and into a waiting crown victoria...


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