HP Opens New Research Facility to Advance Sustainable Data Center Technologies

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — March 30, 2011 — HP (NYSE: HPQ) today announced the opening of a state-of-the-art research facility in Fort Collins, Colo., in which the company will advance sustainable data center technologies.

The new facility will expand on HP’s Converged Infrastructure architecture by developing technologies to eliminate IT sprawl, increase energy efficiency and reduce power consumption to help clients minimize their carbon footprint and reinvest cost savings into business innovation.

Built in collaboration with HP Labs, the company’s central research facility, the 50,000 square-foot site will enable HP to explore new strategies for reducing the environmental impact of next-generation data centers. At completion, the site will use technologies to help customers minimize power for the cooling of their data centers, while increasing their capacity with less equipment.

“Enterprises across the country are looking for sustainable IT solutions that help them improve their bottom line by decreasing environmental impact, power consumption and costs,” said John Hickenlooper, governor of Colorado. “The groundbreaking research taking place at HP’s Fort Collins facility demonstrates that Colorado is leading the country in developing environmentally focused solutions. These kinds of efforts will eventually help companies become more sustainable, improving both energy use and the environment.”

The research center will focus on innovations including advanced data analytics enabled through integrated fine-grained sensor technology to support the company’s Data Center Smart Grid initiative. HP also will study sophisticated resource management through the use of power and cooling microgrids. These consist of air- and water-side economizers that take advantage of the low humidity in the Rocky Mountains region.

“Our clients are seeking sustainable, affordable data center technologies that will effectively change the energy equation,” said Tom Christian, principal research scientist, Sustainable Ecosystems Research Lab, HP. “The new Fort Collins research facility advances the development of solutions that address CIOs’ most pressing needs, including lowered energy consumption and reduced costs.”

Smarter data center design

HP Critical Facilities Services provided consulting for, and design of, the new facility. To meet business challenges such as energy costs, computational power and connectivity, HP Networking products, combined with HP ProLiant servers, HP Integrity Servers, HP BladeSystem, and HP StorageWorks capabilities, will be used to support research and sustainability advancements.

Half of the Fort Collins facility is being developed as a living laboratory that will incorporate the latest technologies from the HP Labs Sustainable Data Center Project focused on reducing emissions and energy costs.

Advancements to reduce power consumption include thousands of environmental sensors for gathering data across the facility, and a water-side economizer providing evaporative cooling through a cooling tower, eliminating the use of a power-intensive compressor. It has hot and cold aisles, and every aisle between rows of server racks is bounded with cool-air intakes or hot-air outlets. Air is brought into the cool aisles from underneath and exhausted from the hot aisles overhead to allow for constant air circulation through the racks.

The new research center also will provide clients with a roadmap for intelligent energy management and dependable IT infrastructure. This includes solutions for improving business continuity across systems and facilities that extend the life of data centers. The site also will develop new technologies to reduce power and cooling requirements with solutions that complement HP Intelligent Power Discovery and Data Center Smart Grid, in support of HP’s Converged Infrastructure architecture.

The facility will integrate HP Labs technologies that enable customers to:

  • Reduce energy costs by dynamically adjusting IT, power and cooling resources as well as integrating supply- and demand-side management systems with existing building management systems.
  • Improve management of IT loads and shift resources to where they are needed with a Sustainable Data Center System that includes other advanced technologies such as adaptive vent tiles, fine-grain sensing and sophisticated management software. Preliminary research shows an anticipated decrease in power consumption by about 40 percent from these techniques.(1)

In addition, the facility will house the HP Labs Sandbox, a research environment that is isolated both environmentally and electronically from the rest of the facility. The Sandbox serves as a test bed for new sustainability technology from HP Labs.

HP Converged Infrastructure is a key foundation of an Instant-On Enterprise. In a world of continuous connectivity, the Instant-On Enterprise embeds technology in everything it does to serve customers, employees, partners and citizens with whatever they need, instantly.

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