Intel (INTC) is lifting the lid on some of the details of the data center consolidation it announced in April in Beijing. Intel is a year into the process, which will eventually consolidate 133 data centers worldwide into just eight high-density facilities of about 300,000 square feet apiece. About 60 percent of Intel's existing facilities are at least 10 years old.
"We've started the process to End of Life (EOL) or consolidate our data centers down to just eight strategic locations," Brently Davis, manager of Intel's data center efficiency initiative, writes in a blog post. "This effort is planned to take us eight years, but we're working to pull this in sooner. This initiative enables us to reduce costs, improve server and storage utilization, create higher density & more energy efficient data centers, and allows us to keep pace with our company's rapid rate of innovation. The effort could deliver up to $750 million in Net Present Value." Those savings will grow to between $1.4 billion and $1.8 billion over the seven-year period needed to complete the consolidation.
Intel currently has about 93,000 servers in its data centers, many of which will be replaced with a smaller footprint of new multi-core Intel Xeon processors. Virtualization will allow Intel to create higher density data centers.
"We're probably sitting on a lot of servers that are old and past the four-year life cycle that we'd like to have," Davis explains in a video accompanying the blog post. "Removing those old servers is very critical to reduce the footprint and land them in the high-density data centers we want to build." Here's the video:
Intel will follow a three-step strategy: consolidate, virtualize, and standardize. "We found we didn't have a standardized approach," said Davis. "Almost every data center ran under its own process. With so many data centers and so many different footprints, we had to come up with a strategy to make the environment more efficient. We had to have something comprehensive."
The consolidation calls for two "global hubs," four regional data centers and two "local" data centers (presumably local to Intel's home base in Santa Clara).