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HP's Cookie Cutter Data Center: Flexible DC

HP sees a future in flexible, modular data center designs. FlexDC from HP's Critical Facilities Services division is a modular data center design that covers all the physical requirements including building, cooling and electrical power. Similar to the design build methodology used in retail and warehouse building where a company contracts for a fixed amount of square footage at a location and takes the keys when it is complete, HP Flex Data Center is built from predefined components, shipped to

The electrical systems are designed to be efficient and where possible, HP took costly transformers and converters out of the design. The redundant design includes multiple generators, UPSs and power distribution units in keeping with reliability best practices. Any system can go down and power will remain uninterrupted. While Flex DC isn't certified using the Uptime Institutes tier system, HP designed it to be fault tolerant and reliable. Each quadrant is autonomous and run separately from the other quadrants.

While Flexible DC is not a turnkey data center---you still have to supply the computing resources--it is designed to fit most situations, and since you can start with a relatively small build, 400KW in one quadrant, you can expand as you grow. This follows a trend in computing with the likes of Cisco, Dell, and  HP, along with their partners, producing fixed, stamp-sized computing platforms complete with servers, storage and networking. They can quickly deliver pre-built systems that will fit most general computing needs cheaper than custom designs.  

If you are looking at replacing an existing data center or modernizing an existing data center, HP's Flexible DC is worth a look. If HP can make good on their claim of reduced capital costs plus the operational cost savings in reduced facilities power, combined with operation savings that can be found in modern computing, storage and networking gear—less power draw, less heat generation meaning less cooling required—they are presenting a compelling business case.

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