HP introduced a new service Tuesday that helps enterprises plan, design and build new data center capacity. The HP Critical Facilities Implementation (CFI) service is designed to simplify the design and project management of data center construction by providing everything from a single vendor.
Despite all of the attention paid to cloud computing--the model in which businesses and enterprises have their computing needs provided by a third-party public cloud provider--many companies still need to develop their own data centers. Whether they build their own data center or access the computing assets of a third-party provider, "that facility's got to be built somewhere," says Rick Einhorn, director of worldwide critical facilities services at HP.
In a Gartner survey from April 2010, 46 percent of respondents reported that they will build one or more new data centers in the next two years, and 54 percent expected that they will need to expand an existing data center in that time frame. Given that HP has developed 50 million square feet of raised floor data center space of its own in recent years--including both "greenfield" development of brand new centers as well as retrofit projects--the company has the experience at data center projects to provide advice to its own customers.
Elements of HP's CFI service include end-to-end project management, planning that is customized to the client's specific data center needs and experience in energy-efficient data center development. HP has built both LEED-certified and LEED GOLD-certified data centers. LEED stands for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program established by the third-party U.S. Green Building Council.
The HP Critical Facilities Services business grew out of an acquisition by HP of EYP Mission Critical Facilities, says Einhorn, who was president of EYP at the time. Its specialties were data center consulting, testing and operations services, and it mainly did business in North America and Western Europe.
During the recent recession, data center construction spending fell by 40 percent, he says, but HP took the opportunity to expand globally into emerging markets in Asia such as India and China, and also expanded into planning and management of actual construction projects. That includes designing and building the data center and deciding what equipment needs to be installed to meet the business needs of the customer and maximize cost-efficiency. "Building a data center is like building a computer," Einhorn says.