Feeds

HP's white trash data center is up for anything

Your POD or mine?

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Hewlett-Packard has finally found its way into the data center trailer park.

It took a while, but the hardware vendor is introducing its own scheme for selling chunks of data centers in pre-packaged containers. HP joins the likes of Sun, IBM, Rackable, and Verari with similar White Trash Data Center programs.

HP calls its offering a "Performance Optimized Data Center" or POD. HP joins IBM by providing the option of filling containers not just with the vendor's own kit, but also a wide variety of third-party metal.

"We engineered our PODs to be the most flexible infrastructure in the industry," said Paul Miller, HP's marketing chief of enterprise gear. "If it can fit into a 19-inch rack, we can pretty much fit it into our POD."

Miller said customers are all about standardized hardware in the container arena. For example, the standards approach lets customers start with half a POD and then move their existing equipment into the container when they need the extra space.

Most other vendors have chosen a ground-up approach for the job — fitting their containers with specialized gear made for life in a 40-foot unit. HP, however, doesn't have new hardware for its container. But at least it's managed to cram a lot of what it currently has in there.

HP claims the shipping containers will support more than 3,500 compute nodes, or 12,000 large form factor hard drives. The company estimates that's equivalent to 4,000-plus square feet of typical data center capacity. It also promises shipment within six weeks of the customer's order.

"We're able to get greater density than people who took the ground-up approach," said Miller.

Container experts, however, will tell you that there's merit to the custom designs. Rackable, for example, appears able to squeeze the most hardware into its ICE Cube systems, which also pay special attention to power and cooling. In addition, the early container players are already crafting second and third generation designs, while HP is just now entering the market with what can be considered a fairly generic approach.

In any case, HP's industry-standard approach would seem to leave it out of the bidding for Microsoft's massive container project in Chicago. Microsoft looks set to buy more than 200 containers from a vendor that's able to meet a very demanding set of requirements. Whoever scores this deal will need to deliver bespoke it.

PODs are built to order through HP Factory Express. HP expects to have the fleet ready for US customers in October, and worldwide by the first quarter of 2009.

A video tour of an HP container is available here. Whoops, we mean here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.