Taking a tip from Google, Sun, Rackable and HP the word on the street is that Dell is preparing to enter the new and exciting world of containerized data centers. Helping further suspicions, in a job posted earlier today today on Linkedin, it seems that Dell is finally ready to make the dip. They describe the job role as "The primary purpose of the Enclosure Product Management position is to develop a strategy around Dell's entry into the Datacenter enclosure market place, implement and then sustain the execution of that strategy." Combined with the rumors about joint facebook / Dell cloud services, the pieces seem to be falling into place.
I find this move particularly interesting given Dell's interest in cloud computing. I think Dell may envision the ability to use these type of containerized data centers as a method of "rapid physical cloud provisioning". (Facebook suddenly has an increase in demand from Japan, no problem we'll have a container on the next ship to Toyko.)
In yet another interesting twist of fate, Google has received a patent from the USPTO for the concept of a "mobile datacenter" stored in a standard shipping container and equipped with multiple racks of high-powered servers with its own internal cooling system.
Also interesting to note that HP announced their Cloud-enabling data center infrastructure called POD (Performance-Optimized Datacenter) program last month.
I'll keep you posted as I learn more.