Intel appears to be planning a major consolidation of its data center network, which would eliminate dozens of older data centers and centralize servers in huge new data centers with advanced power and cooling management. Intel's plans were discussed by two executives, Martin Menard (director of platform capability) and James Chen (director IT consulting services) in a presentation on the company's data center infrastructure at the Intel Developers Forum in Beijing. The event was covered by ZDNet blogger Larry Dignan, who included a slideshow of some of the highlights of the presentation.
Intel currently has 136 data centers around the world, with 62 percent of those being at least 10 years old. Not surprisingly, the Intel execs cited storage, power and cooling as key challenges. Intel plans to consolidate its data centers into about a much smaller number of state-of-the-art "hubs" with modular design for easy expansion, and the ability to support power loads of up to 525 watts per square foot.
The Intel slide mentions eight "hubs" split across three continents, but also includes a notation that the chart is "for illustration purposes and does not represent actual Intel data centers." While the details of Intel's strategy may differ from the presentation, the company appears set on a course to build new data centers and retire antiquated facilities.
Intel's plans appear similar in concept to the huge consolidation announced last year by Hewlett-Packard, which is building six new facilities to replace more than 80 older data centers. Like HP, Intel will be able to showcase the new facilities as prominent real-world implementations of the equipment and solutions the company is pitching to its customers. HP is installing its Dynamic Smart Cooling in its new data centers, and is already touting cost savings of $8 million per year in one of its two new Austin sites.