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I traveled down to Houston today to check out a data center geek’s version of paradise — the inside of the factory where HP builds their rack-mounted servers and high-value blade systems. I shot plenty of photos that show how a bunch of chips and boards […]

I traveled down to Houston today to check out a data center geek’s version of paradise — the inside of the factory where HP builds their rack-mounted servers and high-value blade systems. I shot plenty of photos that show how a bunch of chips and boards gets assembled into a blade that I will put in a later post, but I also got to take a tour of the inside of HP’s containerized data center, known as a POD. “Tour” isn’t really the right word, since it’s hard to move around inside the 40-foot shipping container filled with racks, but it was pretty sweet to see all that processing power in one place.

I’ve embedded a three-minute video below with Wade Vinson, a thermal engineer with HP, and pasted a few photos of the outside of the factory. HP isn’t the only company filling shipping containers full of servers to save power and space; Sun Microsystems and Rackable are doing it as well. And IBM and Dell have indicated that they plan to get into the market as companies seek to place computing in remote locations or build out their data centers rapidly.

 
  1. When you watch this video and catch yourself saying ‘cool’ at the end, you know you are a geek. I did :) LOL

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  2. The guy’s wearing a Compaq shirt…he’s been around a while :)

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  3. Stacey Higginbotham Sunday, September 28, 2008

    IndiaSphere, Good eye. I meant to point that out in the post. He was awesome to talk to because he was so enthusiastic about the design, the hardware and even the cabling–not from a salesman point of view, but because he helped build this thing. The Compaq shirt sealed that impression. He apparently also designed the fans that HP uses to cool their blade servers. They’re modeled on jet engines and it certainly sounds like an airfield when they kick on.

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  4. [...] Monday, September 29, 2008 at 3:00 PM PT Comments (0) Last Friday, not only did I get a first look at HP’s containerized data center, but I was given a tour of its factory floors in Houston, where HP makes high-value custom servers [...]

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  5. [...] on the Jerry Springer Show, servers do not operate well in mobile homes. However, as Microsoft, HP, Verari and others have shown, high density blade servers can be packed with hundreds of terabytes [...]

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  6. [...] carrying generators, tools and even ready-to-eat meals are also deployed. Since I love any sort of gear crammed into a container, I really wish I could have seen [...]

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  7. [...] petaflops petabytes of archived web pages is also stored in a shipping container. Yes, I have this thing for data centers in a box, but if a group is going to corral the bits and bytes required to generate a historical record of [...]

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  8. [...] hyperscale data centers. But there’s been a change in that perspective as products such as containerized data centers allow customers to build energy-efficient compute capacity at low incremental costs, so there will [...]

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  9. It is cool, I dont know why they didn’t take advantage of the modularity?
    It sucks a lot of power too- so much for efficient.
    I have seen several of these now and wait until you see what is going to pop up here in the next couple weeks. It will change the world as you know it.
    See you folks at the exhibition!

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  10. You forgot to mention Verari, which has 3 containers that have been in production for close to two years now!

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