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back to article Shipping container fuels Australia's bid to be supercomputing power

Sun, we think in 2006, kicked off the notion of putting pre-configured data centres in 20-foot long shipping containers. We used to call them White Trash containers, although none of us can remember why. HP is now applying the same idea to supercomputers and has already bagged some high profile customers for its POD, a plug-and- …

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Anonymous Coward

About the White Trash title

You guys called them that because they were like trailer park trailers... in which white trash live. Or something like that. :-)

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Silver badge

Not in South Africa

Rolling, and unscheduled, blackouts are common in South Africa, as well as theft of power cable (scrap copper) and so any such system will need monster backup generators.

Armed guards would then be needed to guard the fuel, generators and equipment.

Then a second set of guards is needed to protect the fuel from theft by the first set of guards.

Then a small 24 hour hospital will be needed to patch up the guards when they get into gunfights.

The hospital will need security lighting etc to protect the hospital from theft.

Now you have light pollution problems and will need to move.

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

If SAsite has problems, Oz can do worse

<rant>

In Oz, the SKA will need a long new track cut, which will set off the greenies, who will fly in from all over the world to complain of the clearing of desert scrub and the CO2 polution.

This will be followed by developers getting approval to build apartments along access road and setting up phone towers so the scientists have a choice of 3 telcos.

This will be broadcasted as competition policy in action by what passes for Oz Fed Gov and the subsequent failure of the SKA will have beancounters demanding all science needs a clearly defined ROI before funding is given.

</rant>

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Megaphone

LOL

That is like a portable computer. Looks like an out-house. Why the heck would anyone want a PC in a container to study radio astro jumbo? Wouldn't one want the computer system to be close to the research center or actually in it? Heck what about the heat generation and cooling systems?

That is only good for simple calculations that is Rent-a-Pod. you put that on a trailer and go from one state to another taking peanuts to match the cost for this nonsense. It would be just cheaper to just build the facility and have it furnished with the calculation power. Plus, just in case someone is getting smart, a ticket is cheaper from having all this move to your location.

The only good thing about it is that it would serve as an RTU system for delicate control in remote locations. Then a facility is not required to house personnel.

In a nutshell, it is just too big to be needed as a commodity.

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Bronze badge

A dim view of this

"The countries are competing against South Africa for the gig, which will require massive compute power and dry places with no light pollution."

Light pollution? Radio Telescope? Am I missing something?

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: A dim view of this

Slip of brain on my part - I've been up too long! Now corrected

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Joke

I can imagine...

I can imagine students hiring a crane and truck and nicking these for a laugh!

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Pint

Not darwn ere, mate.

Nows yous look 'ere, wes don wan dem noo farnglededded electramochronic finking brain-fings darwn ere on GAWDS ern erf! Der uuniversti of wooollloomooolloomooolmooo as a sheep-dip, jars lark GAWD intended.

ya pommy barstards. prolly full'o dat pr0n sturf anyswayss.

an we don wanna ketch ANYONE not drinkin. Crack tubes.

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Thumb Down

Youra

Nong

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Boffin

Where? In the car park?

Look, it's a very nice car park, OK? Besides, it's been sitting in a car park in Erskine for a few weeks, so it can only be an improvement.

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Silver badge
Joke

HP Pod??

Ohh, now they've gone and done a real Jobs of it! Don't they know what happens when you have pod in the name? Oh right, it's HP, not that big of a deal.

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Boffin

Oh, in addition

It is an aberration, an over sized beast that is best replaced by NI PXIe control system.

Why would anyone want to confine computing power?

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Thumb Down

Its a good question.

"where - in the car park?"

These things are so fecking ugly. Our site is full of them. (Containers for storage, not data centres in containers)

If it's a permanent installation then why not put the servers in a dedicated room?

I really don understand these things. If you need a portable data centre (disaster relief? war network? etc) then great, but why make your sites ugly with these things?

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Silver badge

Many advantages

No planning permission required - its portable.

No building required - massive cost reduction

Less mechanical maintenance

It is portable (so if you need to move it you can)

And some other stuff

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Go

Don't forget the HP_PowerGenPod

By the look of those power cables (or are they coolant pipes?) it'll need another container just to run it.

And if you're going to do that, why not have the power going up and put the generator container on top so the heat will go up?

Someone will buy it. Just for the bragging rights.

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Joke

HP Pod?

Plenty of storage, but it isn't exactly a portable, so I don't think it'll take that many sales off Apple...

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FAIL

SKA

Australia wants to host the SKA? is this a joke? I dont know if anyone has noticed but Australia is not exactly renonwed for it's technical prowess. We dont even have a proper broadband network here, it's mostly made up of old copper wires and tin cans with a max speed of 20 miggle bytes. Not only that but the people here dont like embracing new technology here either, horseless carriages are EVIL I tell you and why those player pianos were forged by Lucifer himself. We have a political party here called the "Liberal party" and if they win the election they will promptly cancel the NBN due to it's speedy satanic nature, see this is why they finally came out opposing the censorship filter, they know if they just hold back the speed the internet will just filter the evil out itself.

Seriously just give the SKA to South Africa.

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Thumb Up

Car Park? I doubt it. Probably, Back Yard

That portable data center could be located anywhere that would be convenient, in terms of constant power distribution, constant network access, and occasional (I presume, rare) physical maintenance access. Aesthetically and practically, It could fit in nicely with some ground-floor HVAC equipment for a building site - just be sure the maintenance folks would be aware that it's not for lawn-mower storage ;)

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