Datacenter In A Box, Or Just Publicity Stunt In A Box?
from the a-box-to-house-boxes dept
There’s a big debate going about the future of corporate IT regarding how much of it will be hosted elsewhere, and how much will be on-premise. Some absolutists see almost all IT functions being delivered on-demand, while others expect that the existing model, whereby companies manage their own IT, persisting for sometime. Today, Sun Microsystems staked out a middleground in this debate, as it announced the availability of a portable datacenter dubbed “project blackbox”. The product will come pre-assembled inside a shipping container, and is ready to go as soon as its connected to water and electricity. It appears to be almost exactly what Robert Cringely saw Google developing in a column of his last year. Sun’s product might appeal to companies that like the idea of using commodity infrastructure, but don’t like the idea of it being off-premise and outside of their control. And it could pose a threat to the IT consulting firms that get paid alot to customize a company’s IT setup. On the other hand, it’s not clear how big the market for this is going to be. It will probably be too much for most small companies, while large companies with massive infrastructure needs probably won’t get much use in an additional shipping container filled with gear. The sweet spot of companies for whom this will be ideal seems small. It’s impact on Sun’s business won’t be as significant as what it represents, the continuing commoditization of corporate infrastructure.