HP plans to announce an air-cooled containerised datacentre in June, according to a company representative.
The datacentre will be the third generation of HP's Performance Optimised Datacentre (Pod) family of 20 foot and 40 foot shipping crate-sized datacentres and should be announced at HP's Discover conference in Las Vegas in June, the representative confirmed to ZDNet UK. HP was showing a demonstration Pod at the Red Hat Summit in Boston.
At the moment, HP Pods circulate hot air from servers through a chiller and back to the servers, but this costs power and lowers the efficiency with which the Pod consumes power.
Free cooling means that outside air can be taken in via intake pathways on the exterior of the container and circulated to cool the servers. When this method of cooling is used, there is no power cost for cooling until the exterior air passes a pre-defined temperature threshold, at which point the chillers initiate.
HP's Pods are manufactured in Houston, Texas and Erskine, Scotland, then trucked to customers across the USA and Europe. HP announced the Pods in 2008 and its Pod-factory manufacturing scheme in October, 2010. At the time of the factory launch, HP said it wanted to be "the Henry Ford of the computer industry".
ZDNet UK spoke to a potential HP customer at the event, who said that free cooling would be an attractive feature for them as they were based in northern New England, USA, where the cold temperatures rendered outside air usable for cooling servers.