HP Showcases Utility Data Center

Smart cooling, virtualization technologies aim to shift resources as needed.

I visited Hewlett-Packards Lab in Palo Alto, Calif., yesterday, where company executives showcased the companys Utility Data Center installation in action.

After several informative slide presentations, HP officials took me into the lab where the UDC was installed. The UDC Lab is an impressive gallery of HPs latest hardware and data center technologies, and it is here that HP R&D develops new technologies for the future.

HP engineers showed me how UDC smart cooling techniques including electronically controlled air vents, robotic thermal data collection and 3-D mapping tools enable better utilization of resources. This smart management enabled HP engineers to lower cooling costs by as much as 30 percent while increasing the number of systems in the lab by three to four times—all without the need to increase administrative staff.

The HP Utility Controller, a GUI that connects to a portal to allow IT managers to dynamically configure and allocate resources, was busily mapping thermal data in 3-D when I came by.

I also saw standardized rack designs that will enable data center customers to purchase an entire rack pre-installed and pre-wired with server, network and storage components, roll the whole rack into place, and quickly power it on. This will simplify installation, repair and upgrade of infrastructure systems.

Last week, HP made several major announcements about its Adaptive Enterprise strategy, and the UDC is an important step toward that strategy (for more about HPs plans for the future, see HPs Darwin Evolves).

The UDC solution is based on HPs vision of an Adaptive Enterprise infrastructure where resources are designated in virtual pools for dynamic allocation.

The UDCs software and services will, like a fabric, unite disparate resources and enable large enterprises to detach themselves from traditional IT infrastructures that are rigid, complex and costly to manage, and often unable to quickly respond to change.

Of course, were still far away from such a utilitarian computing utopia, but HPs latest effort shows that this is the beginning of new changes in IT strategies. As UDC demonstrates, it is indeed possible to create an adaptive IT infrastructure that can react to dynamic business needs or changes.

Got plans to adopt a utilitarian computing model? Let me know at francis_chu@ziffdavis.com.