HP's Data Center Mega-Consolidation

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Hewlett-Packard has unveiled one of the most ambitious data center consolidation projects yet, which will consolidate 85 data centers worldwide into six larger centers located in three U.S. cities.

HP’s announcement is great news for Atlanta, Houston and Austin, which will each be home to two new huge data centers. The facilities are being designed as “lights out” data centers, capable of being managed remotely by HP’s adaptive infrastructure solutions. The company is also implementing smart cooling technologies that optimize airflow for cooling of the data centers, leading to utility cost savings of up to 25 percent.

HP will invest $600 million in two 200,000-square-foot data centers in metro Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Business Journal. A new data center in Suwanee, Ga., will create 140 new jobs over the next five years. A second data center will be built in Alpharetta, Ga., at the site of an HP campus. That data center also will employ 140.

The Austin data centers will measure about 400,000 square feet and will include 50,000 square feet of raised floor space. One center will be located at Ed Bluestein Blvd. and the other will be located at its existing campus in Wells Branch, according to the Austin Business Journal.


The consolidation will help HP reduce its IT spending by approximately $1 billion in the coming years. The facilities also will serve as a showcase for HP Adaptive Infrastructure products and services.

“Consolidating our data operations into six state-of-the-art centers will provide HP with strengths that are unmatched in the industry,” said Randy Mott, executive vice president and chief information officer, HP. “The data centers will provide our business with more dependable, simplified operations. This effort will enable faster delivery of new technologies, services and information and provide room for growth and improved business continuity, while significantly reducing costs.”

The three data center locations were selected based on availability and affordability of space, power and network bandwidth, as well as a lower probability of impact from natural disasters. Each location will host two separate physical sites with more than 50,000 square feet of useable floor space within 15 miles of each other, enabling them to be serviced centrally.

The data centers are being designed as a series of modules that can be arranged in various configurations. The modular design will facilitate rapid build times and significant efficiencies in maintaining, managing and upgrading the environment. Space, power and cooling will be rapidly scalable and optimally balanced, with utilization targeted at 70-80 percent per module compared with average utilization of 50 percent in less sophisticated environments.

“The capabilities that we deliver will not only be the right solution to meet our own business requirements, but will also provide the best environment for our customers to see first-hand what HP technology and services can do for them,” said Mark Hurd, HP chief executive officer and president. “These facilities will serve as a model of the next-generation data center that HP believes represents the future of enterprise computing.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.