I was at a meeting the other day, serving as a panelist at the Wikinomics book launch tour with Don Tapscott (interesting stuff, I’ll write about it when I’ve finished reading the book). During the pre-meeting schmooze I got talking to a University CIO and he was all excited about the Blackbox. “Huh?” I said; he’s in the middle of a city and has tons of nice modern buildings. It turns out his Seventies-era data center filled up a little faster than they’d predicted, and they have budget and location for a new one but that’s going to take a solid two years and by December of this year he’s looking at a big-bucks temporary upgrade of the old facility. An interim Blackbox in a shed probably saves him megabucks. I may have even helped a bit. I know his campus a bit, and I seem to remember what the temperature spec on the water hookup is (I won’t guess in public here though) and if I’m right, he’s got plenty of water that’s more than cool enough right there. So I said that and asked him “Are you sure you’re going to need cooling?” and he brightened right up; if I’m right, he just saved another pile of dough. Anyhow, looks to me like the product has legs; I read somewhere the other day that we’re going to be getting competition, which is unsurprising.