HP launches assembly line for data center PODs

Hewlett-Packard has seen enough demand for its performance optimized datacenters (PODs) that it is building an assembly line for them.

Hewlett-Packard has seen enough demand for its performance optimized datacenters (PODs) that it is building an assembly line for them.

If you recall, PODs are essentially preconfigured data center containers. Data centers are increasingly being designed as modular units where these PODs can be mixed and matched. In a nutshell, HP has carved out a 10,000 square foot area to build PODs in weeks not months. Now we're not talking a Ford scale assembly line, but it's a start.

This POD assembly line, dubbed POD-Works, is adjacent to HP's Factory Express unit, which takes individual servers and other gears and turns them into prefab units for data centers. Factory Express does everything from software imaging to customization to hardware integration for customers.

HP's POD effort is designed for service providers and other high-scale environments. POD-Works has seven staging bays with 3 megawatts of power and network connections for testing. HP said it can assemble, test and ship PODs in six weeks. "As PODs become a more mainstream way of building data centers, we have had to go back and look at the way we were building them," said Ed Turkel, manager of business development for HP's high performance computing unit.

The POD tidbit comes as HP launches another round of pieces to fit in with its converged infrastructure strategy. Among the key items:

  • HP launched the ProLiant SL6500 Scalable System, which includes the latest servers and a modular architecture. This system supports up to eight servers, or four servers with 12 graphic processing units in a four-rack enclosure. Of those new boxes, the ProLiant SL390s G7 can take up to three Nvidia GPUs in certain configurations. Turkel said GPUs are increasingly being used in HPC environments.
  • The company rolled out a new TippingPoint security service to better monitor and block access across an enterprise. TippingPoint is arguably one of the crown jewels in the 3Com acquisition. For HP, this is the first TippingPoint offering since the 3Com deal closed. The service, called the AP Application Digital Vaccine, plugs into the TippingPoint intrusion detection systems.
  • In addition, HP introduced a branch office networking package that aims to give remote locations turnkey IT and integration with voice over IP and other networking tools.


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