I just left one of the AMD facilities in Austin, TX, where Sun Microsystems had a Project Blackbox on display. There was a short presentation where Sun representatives gave a quick overview of the design — including some impressive numbers for the amount of equipment and power you can run in the Blackbox. The key is the cooling system. The Blackbox uses an air circulation system that separates each rack with a water-cooled heat displacer. The servers are then racked sideways so that air can move clockwise inside the Blackbox. HEPA filters clean incoming air, and a dehumidifier extracts moisture.
The container itself is “water tight”, but it was recommended that the Blackbox be covered if placed outside. (Contrary to the photoshopped pictures of the Blackbox sitting on open building rooftops.)
I snapped a few pictures with my phone during the tour. These first two show the Project Blackbox sitting on a trailer:
Inside the container doors. This first door leads to an air circulation chamber:
Within the air circulation chamber, another door leads to the racks:
A rack being slid out from within the Project Blackbox:
At the back of Project Blackbox, this photo shows the dehumidifier, and the rack for networking gear:
Power, water, and network ports on the Sun Project Blackbox:
The power ports on the Sun Project Blackbox:
The representatives claimed that an empty Blackbox (ie., no servers) would likely cost between $300,000 – $400,000.