HP Bids for Wider Market with Half-Size Portable Data Center

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HP Bids for Wider Market with Half-Size Portable Data Center

by Chris Preimesberger

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Have Data Center, Will Travel

Media members and analysts take a tour of the 20x8x8-foot HP Performance-Optimized Datacenter, a module that can just as easily be set up in a parking lot, loaded aboard ship or installed indoors to handle business IT workloads.

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Its Rather Cozy Inside

Inside, there are walkways in front and behind the 10 standard-size (19-inch-wide) racks for servers and storage arrays. At the far end of the aisle is the control closet. Fans in the ceiling (at top left) swing down for maintenance. Air is pushed from the ceiling down through the IT equipment and out the vents on the back side.

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Beware of Hot Air

The back walkway is pretty snug but still serviceable. Hot air off the IT equipment gets circulated through this section from the vents at the top when the unit is working at full capacity. The HP POD is also outfitted for liquid cooling as needed.

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These Wont Stay Empty for Long

Here's the way the HP POD looks when the 10 racks are completely empty. The racks come completely prewired for easy plug-ins.

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Closeted Controls

These controls are located inside the power closet door at the entrance to the POD.

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It Survived a Parking Lot in Hot, Humid Houston

There are four multispeed fans for each of the 10 racks in the POD's ceiling. They continually blow the heated air back through the servers to the other side of the unit, where it is cooled down and recirculated. One of HP's test PODs was located in a parking lot at the company's Houston campus, where the hot, humid weather is very harsh in the summer and fall. No problems due to weather were reported.

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Safety First

The POD's fire-control apparatus is in evidence on the ceiling, along with the fans and sealed rack compartments.

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This Is Where the Lifeline Comes In

The two riveted plates on the rear of the POD—just to the left of the emergency door—are the electrical inlet and outflow (if necessary) ports for the data center.

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Cool Water In, Warm Water Out

At the top rear of the POD are the water intake and outflow valves if water or another cooling liquid is needed in the system.

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A Quick Fix for Data Center Expansion

This information slide indicates that data center capacity expansion is the most frequently specified reason (40 percent of the time) for purchasing a portable IT system like the POD, according to HP. Scaling out of a data center is the reasons specified 30 percent of the time; custom military or telecom use is the need in 20 percent of orders; and disaster recovery takes up the rear at 10 percent.

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