Inside IT Storage

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Modulars: Rethinking the future of the data center

With all the talk of the continued exponential growth of storage, and the excitement surrounding the consumption being driven by all the new applications and devices that access information from the Cloud, it’s easy to overlook the question of just where exactly all the backend technology will physically reside. Building a new brick-and-mortar data center is certainly a complex and expensive process, in addition to taking years to plan and build.  

HP offers an interesting alternative approach with its modular data center containers. HP’s recently announced new Performance Optimized Data Centers (PODs) address the key data center cost, space and power consumption issues by packaging all the infrastructure needed to run a business in a scalable, modular design.  HP also says that use of POD systems provides 75% cost savings compared to data centers, while at the same time also delivering ten times the capacity. The first model HP POD 240a comes equipped with a total of 2,200U of rack space that can hold up to 24,000 HDDs.

The POD 240a also integrates power, cooling and security features, and ultimately offers scalability beyond traditional brick-and-mortar data centers. Billed as being “the world’s most efficient data center,” HP says that the POD 240a also uses 95% less energy.

Still, not everyone has been onboard with the modular approach. In this story at, earlier generations of modular data center containers were criticized for being too cramped for IT staff. The HP POD 240a however corrects this with more room, enabling easier serviceability.

In these times with CIO’s being continually asked to do more with less, the use modular data center container systems such as HP’s new POD 240a look to be efficient alternative solutions (and easier to sell to executive management) versus taking on new data center building projects.

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