HP says its POD-Works facility is a 10,000-square-foot building that houses an assembly line for building in modular, self-contained IT centers that are assembled, configured and tested before being shipped to the customer's location. The PODs, built in 20-foot or 40-foot long containers, can be built in as few as six weeks versus the year or more it can take to build a brick-and-mortar data center. The PODs are for hyper-scale computing environments, Internet service providers or application hosting companies that need to expand capacity quickly and demand peak performance.
PODs are targeted at high-performance computing centers that do climate forecasting, astrophysics, genomic research or tsunami forecasting. Purdue University in Indiana acquired an HP POD in July to aid its research on climate change and nanoscale electronics. With the POD, the university said it was able to expand its research capabilities by 50 percent within a matter of months for less than one-third the cost of building a new data center.
HP is also serving the high-performance market with three new servers offered as part of the HP ProLiant SL6500 Scalable System of modular components combined to offer peak scale, performance and energy efficiency. Features of the Scalable System include as many as eight servers in a single 4-rack unit enclosure, or up to four servers with 12 Nvidia graphics processing units -- called GPGPUs, for general purpose graphical processing unit -- Keels explained. He described the GPGPU as a graphics accelerator that is integrated with the core processor to improve the performance of applications.
Starting prices for the new ProLiants, which run Intel Xeon 5600 series processors, includes the Scalable System, at $1,099, the SL170s G6 at $1,319 and the SL390s G7 at $1,969.