The barn is dead. Partitioning a huge data center into smaller spaces – whether you call them pods, zones, suites or modules – has become an important practice for creating flexible and cost-effective data centers. This trend is part of a broader shift towards data center "industrialization" - the use of standard, repeatable designs and equipment.
The largest players in the data center space are now building products and services around these concepts. Earlier this month HP announced a “multi-tiered hybrid design” approach that creates multiple zones within a facility. The new offering (PDF) leverages the expertise of HP's Critical Facilities Services, the unit created through the acquisition of EYP Mission Critical Facilities.
A pod-based design approach is nothing new to EYP, which has been one of the industry's leading design and engineering firms for many years. HP nonetheless is touting the multi-tier concept as a “ breakthrough approach to facility design” that will prevent enterprise clients from building wide-open barn-style data center to Tier IV standards when only a portion of the space will require that level of redundancy.
“Customers can save millions of dollars by building multi-tiered data centers that are scalable, efficient and predictable,” said Peter Gross, vice president, Critical Facilities Services, HP. “HP helps facilities and technology staffs align objectives to improve operations and reduce cost.”
“A monolithic approach to data center design drives up construction and operating costs,” added David J. Cappuccio, vice president and chief of research, Gartner. "Adopting a multi-tiered approach scales back capital investments and operating expenses because it right-sizes facility infrastructures."
HP's multi-tiered hybrid design begins with a business impact analysis to fully understand the client's requirements, and design the infrastructure to prioritize applications and group them into data center zones designed to multiple levels of redundancy and scalability. The company is emphasizing the "end-to-end" analysis and design capabilities of EYP MCF.