Feeds

HP reinvents self as data center designer

Mission Critical Facilities

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

After a freeze in the construction of new data centers in the past couple of years, the market is starting to thaw a bit. And Hewlett-Packard wants to provide more than servers, storage, and networking. It also want to design and manage the construction of the candy coating that wraps around all that gear.

That was the idea when HP bought EYP Mission Critical Facilities, a designer of data centers with over 350 employees when the deal was done back in November 2007. HP has been gradually working its way up to productizing its data base construction management service. EYP was renamed Critical Facilities and tucked under the behemoth's Technology Services arm.

According to a recent survey performed by Gartner, 46 per cent of enterprise customers surveyed said they would need to build one or more new data centers in the next two years, and 54 per cent of CIOs said they would need to expand an existing data center over that same term.

Rick Einhorn, worldwide director of Critical Facilities services at HP, tells El Reg that based on data he has seen, the expectation is that for new data center construction worldwide will generate somewhere between $30bn to $40bn in 2012, which is "on par" with the levels set back in 2008, before the Great Recession froze a lot of projects.

Einhorn says that to figure out how to ramp the data center design and construction management practice, the company has done more than 30 engagements worldwide that it handled soup-to-nuts. Before and after being acquired by HP, the EYP staff has done thousands of data center designs, including both greenfield and retrofit projects. And it is now moving from reactive to proactive mode.

HP is obviously touting its own expertise with IT equipment and in running data centers, but Einhorn says HP is not just pushing its own hardware. Critical Facilities operates independently of the Enterprise Systems, Storage, and Networking division, which has created the Performance Optimized Datacenters - aka PODs - riff on containerized data centers.

The CFI service can be used to test and install PODs, but the factories down in Houston, Texas, where the servers and storage are built is where the PODs are manufactured. The "Butterfly" Flexible Data Center, launched last July, is a CFI product.

"Anybody can build a shell, but building a shell is not what people want," explains Einhorn. "They want to essentially build what is a giant computer from the ground up." And they have to do this now because, says Einhorn, any data center that is ten years old or older is "woefully out of date" in terms of floor styles, ceiling heights, and power and compute density. With around 75 per cent of the cost of the new construction of the data center coming from mechanical and electrical systems - and these items can change three or four times in the course of a 15-year lifespan of a data center - it is important to try to get it right the first time.

"By bringing the IT company that has all of this expertise internally into the beginning of the process, you can get a flexible and expandable data center and avoid over-provisioning and under-provisioning, both of which are disastrous."

A typical engagement with the new Critical Services Implementation service, which involves everything from design to construction management, takes somewhere between 20 and 30 people just for the design and then construction managers on top of that. Pricing for the services depends on the scope of the project and how involved HP is in the process. A data center might, in effect, be a giant server, but don't expect HP to treat it like a ProLiant and provide a price. Although that is precisely what HP should be doing, come to think of it. ®

Best practices for enterprise data

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?