HP's big idea: Prefab data centers

Hewlett-Packard is taking a page from home builders like Toll Brothers and Lennar when it comes to building data centers. Are you ready for the prefab data center?

Hewlett-Packard is taking a page from home builders like Toll Brothers and Lennar when it comes to building data centers. Are you ready for the prefab data center?

Now HP isn't exactly calling its data center architecture play prefab, but concepts are very similar. With its HP Flexible Data Center, the IT giant is pushing a design that's flexible and easy to expand. HP is looking to industrialize the process of building data centers.

At the core of the HP Flexible Data Center is a so-called butterfly design. The design features four prefabricated quadrants for things like power and computing. HP is layering services on top of the prefab data centers to plan and implement.

In a presentation, HP says its Flexible Data Center push is designed to industrialize the mechanical and electrical infrastructure in a data center. The aim is to move construction labor from the site to the factory and deliver a more efficient data center supply chain.

The overall idea is that enterprises can cut the time it takes to deploy a data center. And since the design is modular customers can scale capacity easily. The configurations are designed to optimize power and cooling resources.

HP, like other major IT players like Dell, EMC, Cisco, VMware and IBM, is benefiting from a strong data center upgrade cycle. HP is looking to prefab data centers as a way to get the CFO on its side. The company plans to provide the core building and then the mechanical and electrical systems inside.

Ultimately HP sees a big business in being a data center builder.

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