2 more datacenters in a can

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First Sun, then Rackable introduced datacenters in a can. Then Verari, and Google patented the idea of a datacenter in a shipping container. And now we have two more entrants into this “market.”

Ashlee Vance reported on IBM’s compute-heavy trailer in mid June

IBM logoIBM too has embraced the container idea via what it’s calling Portable Modular Data Centers (PMDCs). Whereas most of the competitors offer a single container option, IBM lets customers pick from three systems – a 20 foot unit, a 40 foot unit and a double-wide 40 foot unit. In addition, IBM can slot hardware from just about any vendor into the containers, according to Steve Sams, an IBM VP.

And now HP joins the summer of trailer love

HP logoHP’s Performance Optimised Datacentre, or POD, will be available in the US by the end of the third quarter and worldwide a few months after that, the company said Wednesday.

…The HP POD will accommodate 1,800 watts per square foot, compared to about 250 watts per square foot in a normal data centre, said Steve Cumings, director of infrastructure with HP’s Scalable Computing and Infrastructure group.

HP’s 40-foot POD will contain 22 50u server racks and be able to house up to 1,100 1u servers or 12,000 large form-factor hard drives, for a total 12 petabytes of storage, Cumings said. HP will be able to ship the products to customers six weeks after they are ordered, he said.

(Pics of the POD on the move.)

ComputerWorldUK has a couple great lines in its HP article (link above)

It sounds like a gimmick, but proponents say the portable datacentres can solve real problems.

Yeah, it sounds like a gimmick. The HP exec interviewed for the article expects sales to be “very low.” Outstanding.

My disdain notwithstanding, they did manage to dig up something positive to say

Microsoft is a big fan: It has said it plans to install more than 200 compact data centres on the ground floor of a new facility in Chicago. It hasn’t said yet which vendor will provide them.

Sun’s early customers include Hansen Transmissions, a Belgian industrial manufacturer, and Mobile TeleSystems, the Russian mobile operator. The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California bought two and has posted a white paper and time-lapse videos showing delivery of the first.


  1. […] think this is odd, given that IBM announced its own datacenter-in-a-can back in June. Perhaps is a case of separate business units within IBM […]