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The Cubb serves up tech challenge

LOCAL firm Kellabox has released a portable, self-contained data centre that effectively eliminates the need for a server room to house a business's networking equipment.

The micro data centre, known as 'The Cubb', is a specially designed 49-centimetre cabinet adapted from a South African concept.

The device was a result of the demand for networks with remote sites because, traditionally, the logistics and expense of constructing and managing small, remote server rooms had been prohibitive.

With the advent of The Cubb, Kellabox director Clinton Keeler is hoping the typical server room found in offices across the country will soon be a thing of the past.

"The portable data centre removes the need for a server room," Mr Keeler told WA Business News.

"That means the three-by-three metre, air-conditioned room to house network servers and all the critical infrastructure belonging to that company could be eliminated."

The device ranges in price, depending on specific components, from $19,900 to $24,900.

Mr Keeler said the cost of setting up a server room varied considerably, from more than $30,000 up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for large organisations.

It's also a greener option for companies to consider, due to the wastage associated with cooling traditional server rooms via split system air-conditioning units.

"It's about cooling a defined area which has also been sealed to reduce the chance of hot air coming in and cold air escaping," Mr Keeler said.

The Cubb is a "plug and play" solution, which includes environmental monitoring, an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), power distribution unit, access control and a built-in cooling system, he said.

And the device also features its own fire control system.

"It has a 'pyro-rack', so if one of the servers catch alight, that pyro-rack senses the smoke within the box and dumps gas, and that gas sucks out the oxygen, putting out the fire," Mr Keeler said.

It is also a modular system so if further equipment protection is required another box can be attached to the side.

"You can also hook them up to generators for remote locations like mines, rural homes and other areas if that kind of additional support is required," Mr Keeler said.

"And it could also be valuable for offices located in heritage-listed buildings with restricted infrastructure allowances within the building; therefore the box can come in quite handy in that situation."

The Cubb was recently showcased at technology trade show CEBIT Australia 2009 in May, leading to approaches from the Department of Defence and CSC Australia, Mr Keeler said.

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