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HP to Shrink 'n' Save

HP, buoyed by solid second-quarter results, today revealed plans to consolidate its 85 global data centers into six main sites located in Atlanta, Houston, and Austin, Texas. (See HP Reports Q2.)

Each 50,000-square-foot site -- two in each city, fifteen miles apart -- will be used to host HP's own server and storage infrastructure. The company estimates that the consolidation will shave $1 billion off its IT costs. To help the savings, HP will deploy new cooling techniques in the data centers in hopes of slashing power expenditure by one-fourth.

The move is the latest step in the long-term reorganization of HP, following the departure of former CEO Carly Fiorina last year. (See HP CEO Steps Down.) As well as looking to streamline the company and tighten costs, Fiorina's successor, Mark Hurd, highlighted the firm's underperforming storage business as one of his top priorities when he took the HP hot seat. (See HP Storage Slammed, HP Plots New Course, HP Stays Hopeful on Storage, and HP's Relevant Again.)

Despite speculation last year that the vendor may spin off its troubled storage business, HP has instead refocused its energies on the division, unveiling a major upgrade of its midrange EVA family of products last year and new products earlier this year. (See Poll: HP Should Keep Storage, HP Plans EVA Facelift, HP Hoists New Storage Products, HP Plans HW/SW Upgrades, and IBM Expands 4-Gbit/s & Backup.)

As well as upgrading the EVA, HP also added products such as high-end NAS, virtual tape, WAN acceleration, and backup services last year through partnerships with PolyServe, Sepaton, Riverbed, and Asigra. HP also acquired storage management vendor AppIQ in September. (See HP Storage Gets off the Deck.)

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