HP debuts Pod datacentre factory

HP debuts Pod datacentre factory

Summary: ZDNet UK took a tour of HP's Pod-Works assembly-line facility, which promises to build and ship a containerised HP datacentre to order within six weeks

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TOPICS: Networking
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  • The US facility is capable of fitting up to 15,000 servers at once and has 18,000 square metres of floor space. Given those parameters, it can theoretically work on between 14 and 30 custom Pods at one time, as the 20-foot model holds up to 500 and a 40-foot model holds up to 1,100. The facility has a 3.2MW power infrastructure, so that multiple server clusters can be configured in multiple containers at once.

    The Pods, launched by HP in 2008, have an average power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.25. However, this figure is based on testing conducted in the warm environs of Houston, Beck told ZDNet UK. That means the PUE could fall if the Pods are deployed in a cooler environment.

    A Pod's external requirements are power and water. HP is happy to put in "whatever hardware equipment that fits into a 19-inch rack", Beck said.

    Photo credit: HP

  • HP's Pod architect Wade Vinson suggested in a video presentation that customers are now less likely to want expensive custom shells for their facility, such as the one pictured behind him. Instead, they are more likely to want a containerised, modular solution that allows them to scale out efficiently, he said.

    One example of this is the US government, which recently commissioned a containerised datacentre guidebook as a part of its review of ways to tackle and reduce its sprawling 1,100-strong datacentre estate.

    Beck said the customers keen on the containerised Pods are those involved in industries such as oil and gas, where data and processing equipment is deployed "in very weird locations where you don't have any infrastructure".

    However, Beck admitted that finance was one of the few sectors that show little to no interest in a highly modular containerised solution like the Pod.

    Screenshot: HP

  • The Pods are shipped to and from the facility via trucks. HP said this is part of the reason why it is able to have such a relatively low deployment time.

    Dave Donatelli, HP's vice president of enterprise servers, storage and networking told an audience of journalists in Barcelona on Tuesday that with Pod-Works, HP is showing the world it wants "to be the Henry Ford of the computer industry".

    Screenshot: HP

Topic: Networking

Jack Clark

About Jack Clark

Currently a reporter for ZDNet UK, I previously worked as a technology researcher and reporter for a London-based news agency.

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