Hands-on green datacenter research with HP

HP's new Colrado research datacenter will focus on technologies for building more efficient facilities for their customers.,
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

Consolidating the research efforts that were ongoing in 13 different HP datacenters worldwide, HP has announced the opening of a new facility to focus on sustainable datacenter technologies. Using the significant datacenter and research capabilities already available within HP, they leveraged collaboration with HP central research division, (HP Labs), and their datacenter design and consulting business (HP Critical Facilities) to build a fully HP-equipped 50,000 sq. ft. research datacenter in Ft Collins, CO.

Half of the facility is being devoted to a live installation that will focus on HP's Sustainable Datacenter Project which is planned to utilize datacenter sustainability technologies coming out of HP Labs targeted at emissions and energy issues. The facility is also a showcase for HP, not just the server and networking hardware with which the datacenter is equipped but also the capabilities of the HP Critical Facilities business unit in demonstrating their capabilities in delivering a datacenter built to a specific set of requirements.

The facility will also include the HP Labs Sandbox, a datacenter within the datacenter that will be isolated from the larger facilities power and cooling facilities so to allow HP Labs to test their developments in sustainable datacenter technologies and measure their impact on service delivery, power consumption, cooling requirements, etc.

The research datacenter itself is a bit of a test project, with the Ft. Collins, CO area being selected because of the overall climate, which will allow the external temperatures to be a factor on cooling the actual datacenter facility. Estimates project that economizers will be useful for approximately 75% of the winter of 25% of the summer, based on average environmental factors.  For people unfamiliar with the area, it's is likely not as cold as you might think, and far drier (lower humidity) than you might expect, two conditions which have a major influence when you factor in environmental temperature and cooling issues into your datacenter design.

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