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HP offers 3-D thermal mapping for data centers

Tracks data center heat, Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer

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Hewlett-Packard is expanding its IT operations services business, offering 3-D thermal mapping tools that detect and manage data center hotspots.

HP Thermal Zone Mapping displays a three-dimensional model of the data center that identifies the flow of hot and cold air. This allows customers to locate potential trouble spots and arrange air conditioning for better efficiency.

Since 2003, HP Services has analyzed data center heat flow using physical inspection and dimensionally-challenged thermal photographs. According to HP, the addition of 3-D computer modeling will give IT managers a better —ahem— perspective, letting them run scenarios that test the impact of layout or infrastructure changes and potential air conditioning unit failures. The services also make it possible to identify appropriate settings for periods of high computing demand.

The tech was developed by HP Labs, the company's central research facility.

The addition of thermal modeling follows HP's Dynamic Smart Cooling service unveiled last year. DSC uses temperature monitors attached to server racks which can fluctuate the air conditioning aimed at the unit when necessary.

HP claims that customers can reduce data center cooling energy costs by up to 45 per cent by using the two services together.

Pricing for the services starts around $10,000 for a check-up. A top-tier implementation which includes 3-D thermal mapping runs at an average of about $100,000.

The HP cooling service faces competitive heat (oh ho ho!) from IBM's Big Green Project, announced in May. The company is redirecting $1bn per year across its business to offer a similar energy efficiency team for data centers. ®

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