HP wants to become the general contractor of the datacenter industry

HP's CFS division moves to become a one-stop datacenter shop
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

It's no surprise that every major datacenter equipment vendor is vying for a piece of the IT services pie. While the market for all types of datacenter hardware alone continues to grow well into the tens of billions of dollars over the next decade, it's the ongoing revenue stream that services can provide that remain the low-hanging fruit that the big players have focused their sights on.

HP has really taken this to heart, not only with their converged infrastructure push that's done a great job of integrating their acquisition of 3Com with the existing HP hardware and networking environment, but also by their commitment to be a complete soup to nuts shop for the datacenter consumer. From a facility dedicated to building containerized datacenter systems, to their Critical Facilities Services division, which can design, test, and run your datacenter, HP has really taken control of the datacenter supply change, to steal a currently popular phrase, for its customers.

HP's Critical Facilities Implementation service offers customers what can amount to a turnkey datacenter experience; the customer writes the check and HP can design, build, equip, deploy and manage the new facility for the customer. While this doesn't mean that HP will soon be posting want ads for lots of construction jobs, it does mean that they will be placing bids for construction services and acting as a general contractor, in construction terms, for the customer's datacenter endeavor.

This new service is also the result of an HP acquisition; the 2007 purchase of the datacenter consulting firm EYP Mission Critical Facilities, led by Richard Einhorn, who now heads up the CFS division for HP. And while HP has gotten a lot of flak for their "purchasing expertise" growth model, they have so far been successful at digesting and applying the businesses they have acquired.

From a business growth factor, this hands-off datacenter construction model will give HP a lot of leverage in in countries such as China,  Brazil and India, where business growth has driven the need for new datacenters. And also, where the traditional, somewhat stodgy, approach to design and implementation of these facilities would get in the way of the potentially enormous growth spurt the economy that these countries are experiencing. If HP is able to get a significant foothold in these developing markets, the company will be able to easily fund future growth by acquisition.

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