HP, which already offers services around designing and equipping data centers, is looking to now be the general contractor on projects through its new CFI service.
which already helps enterprises plan and design their new data centers, now
wants to be the general contractor on the projects.
HP on Feb. 15
unveiled its CFI (Critical Facilities Implementation) service, a move company
officials said will streamline the process of building data centers and give
enterprises one place to go for the entire process.
tremendous demand [from businesses] to have a single point of contact," Rick
Einhorn, worldwide director of Critical Facilities Services for HP, told eWEEK.
The move comes
at a time of expected growth in data center construction. HP officials pointed to
a Gartner study that indicated that 46 percent of respondents to a survey said
they will build one or more data centers in the next two years, and 54 percent
said they will have to expand existing facilities during the same time period.
single vendor to oversee the entire process will help drive down overall costs,
Einhorn said. Up to this point, HP has offered services that covered the bulk
of the steps in the multi-million-dollar process of building a data center,
from assessment and design to project management and equipment.
"In the past,
what was missing was that building piece," he said.
HP has worked
as the general contractor in some smaller projects in parts of Asia the last
few years, getting the process down, David Dnistran, worldwide CFI director for
HP's Critical Facilities Service, said in an interview. Now the company wants
to expand that implementation aspect to larger data center projects worldwide
in both emerging and mature markets, Dnistran said.
will take a bit longer to find traction in the more mature markets, which he
said tend to be more conservative and stick with what they know. However,
Dnistran and Einhorn said they expect to grow the CFI business in such regions
as North America and Europe.
Both said HP's
experience in designing and building its own data centers would be a key
selling point. Several years ago, the company underwent an aggressive program
to consolidate 85 global data centers into six, a move that not only helped HP
save millions of dollars but also could be used as a showcase for the company's
facility skills and data center equipment.
HP also has
been aggressive in the advancement of environmentally-friendly data center designs that
aim to help business reduce the power consumption at their facilities. HP
bulked up its expertise in this space in 2007, when it bought EYP Mission Critical Facilities, a company
that specialized in data center construction services.
center construction industry represents a lucrative market for HP. Einhorn said
he has seen market estimates for the design and construction of data centers at
as much as $30 billion or more. Over the past few years, as the economy soured
and recession took hold, spending in this area was down, he said. However, now
businesses are beginning to build again.
"The market is
huge, and it's a big pie out there," Dnistran said. "We want our slice of that
HP wasn't looking to run construction companies out of business; rather, he'll
be looking to partner with such companies, though now not only as the designer
and architect of the facility, but also as the general contractor.
He said CFI
would operate as an autonomous consultant, and wouldn't be used as a way to
just sell more HP equipment.
customer is an HP house, great, we'll go in that direction," Einhorn said.
"If they prefer another [data center equipment] vendor, we can work with that