Sun to set up data center in coal mine

Underground facility to preserve power.

Sun and a consortium of other businesses are going to lower Blackbox self-contained computing facilities into a Japanese coal mine to set up an underground data center, using up to 50 percent less power than a ground-level data center.

The coolant will be ground water and the site's temperature is a constant 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) all year, meaning no air-conditioning will be needed outside the containers. This reduces the energy required for the water chillers, used with surface-level Blackbox containers.

The group estimates that up to US$9 million of electricity costs could be saved annually if the center were to run 30,000 server cores.

Sun is working with eleven other companies, including Internet Initiative Japan - an ISP, BearingPoint, Itochu Techno-Solutions and NS Solutions. They will form a joint venture with Sun. NTT Communications and Chuo University are also involved.

The disused coal mine is located in the Chubu region on Japan's Honshu island. Sun will build 30 Blackbox self-contained data centers containing a total of 10,000 servers (cores). This can be increased to 30,000 cores if there is the demand for it.

The containers will be lowered 100 million into the mine and linked to power, water cooling and network lines via external connectors.

Sun has been developing its Blackbox concept for three years and a typical one has 250 servers mounted in seven racks inside a standard 20-foot shipping container. Sun says that With T-series processors, a single Blackbox can hold up to 2,000 cores, providing 8,000 simultaneous processing threads.

Such a subterranean data center will be easier to secure against unauthorized entry and terrorist attacks. The Blackbox containers are robust enough to withstand earthquakes, being capable of withstanding a quake of magnitude 6.7 on the Richter scale. The Nihonkai-Chubu earthquake shook the region in 1983.

The project has been initially estimated to cost US$405 million and the site should start offering data center services to public and private sector customers in April, 2010.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Mellor

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?