HP crams datacenters into shipping container

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HP has unveiled a new product which fits an entire datacentre into a standard shipping container.

Dubbed the Performance-Optimized Datacenter, or POD, the new system replaces the equivalent of a 4,000 square-foot datacentre with the container-based collection of systems.

The 40-foot container houses roughly 3,500 CPU nodes and some 12,000 hard drives along with a walking area for a technician to access the hardware. HP plans to target the POD towards cloud computing and web service vendors, as well as traditional high-performance computing industries.

The company claims that each POD unit can be custom-assembled by HP and delivered to a customer in under 6 weeks.

"Customers have more flexibility to balance their capital expenditures and operating expenses while quickly and seamlessly meeting their needs for additional capacity with HP PODs," said Christine Martino, vice president and general manager of HP's scalable computing and infrastructure organization.

"HP’s innovative POD approach allows customers to deploy world-class, scalable, highly power-efficient data center resources quickly and ships in just six weeks."

The POD enters HP into a surprisingly crowded market for datacenters in shipping containers. IBM debuted its container-based offering in June, and Sun has featured a datacenter-in-a-box for nearly two years.

HP hopes that the vast customization options on the POD will set the program apart from its rivals.

"If it fits in a 19-inch rack and cools from front to back or other standard way, it will likely work in the HP POD," boasted Steve Cumings, director of infrastructure for the scalable computing and infrastructure organization at HP.
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