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Inside HP's prefab data center

Patrick Thibodeau | June 13, 2011
Hewlett-Packard had a cutout section of its modular data center on display at its user conference last week in Las Vegas. HP believes it will sell a lot of its EcoPODs as companies look for ways to replenish data center capacity.

The EcoPOD also has sensors inside and out to monitor environmental conditions.

Wade Vinson, HP's POD chief architect, also built a database that allows users to determine the costs of running the data center in various parts of the country.

For instance, in Los Angeles, using a temperature range of 59 degrees to 89 degrees Fahrenheit, the data center can run on filtered free air, without use of the air conditioning system, for about 95% of the year. One megawatt of use, priced at 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, would cost about $736,000 annually. The EcoPOD can support 2.3 megawatts.

"This is actually designed to help a customer decide what temperature he is going to run it at," Vinson said.

HP believes the main users of its modular data centers will be companies seeking to add capacity.

Christian Wheeler, a IT architect with HP reseller Matrix Integration, estimates that the pods can be bought and installed for about a third of the cost of building a data center from scratch.

 

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