For a company outgrowing its data center, they have three options -- expand the current computer room, build a new one or collocate. While these approaches are still useful and will remain common, some companies don’t have the time or budget to pursue them.
Building or expanding a data center can cost millions of dollars and take two years or more. Porting data center systems to a collocation site can also take time and create a long-term operational expense.
“Organizations now have another option,” says Steve Cumings, Director of Infrastructure for HP. “A data center in a box.”
He’s referring to HP’s Performance-Optimized Data Center (POD). A fully operational data center that is self-contained in a shipping container, HP PODs suit organizations needing fast data center expansion to address power, cooling or space limitations.
Density, power and flexibility
In terms of sheer power capacity and density, HP PODs best the vast majority of brick-and-mortar data centers. PODs support a whopping 27.5 kilowatts per rack, more than three times the average computer room. This allows for more than 3,500 2P server nodes, 12,000 large form factor hard drives or a combination of the two. All told, the server and storage systems in these 350 square foot containers provide the compute power of a typical 4,000 square foot data center, and can sustain 12 petabytes of dense data.
“We deliver a ton of capacity and efficiency in a very small space, plus extremely high energy efficiency,” Cumings explains. “We have complete control of the airflow within the POD and full separation between hot and cold aisles, and the maximum distance cold air has to travel is about 20 feet. While the average data center has a PUE [Power Usage Efficiency] of around 2.0, PODs are below 1.25 PUE.”
HP PODs are also highly customizable. With industry standard racks that support heterogeneous systems, they can be outfitted with a wide variety of server and storage equipment. The systems and support for HP PODs can be as little or as extensive as desired by the customer.