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HP has completed the installation of an HP EcoPOD at one of its data centre. The company claims the EcoPOD is "the world's most efficient data centre."

HP's first EcoPOD installation is at the company's data centre in Alpharetta, Georgia, US. The 40-foot (12.2m) pod can take 2000 servers (only 500 have been installed at the outset), which will deliver equivalent compute capacity to equipment that currently occupies around 20,000 square feet (1860 square metres) of existing data centre space.

The EcoPOD is also delivered with 500 TB of storage, along with SAN switches and networking equipment.

"This is a great example of HP's Converged Infrastructure, covering everything from facilities to networking to servers to software in a self-contained powerhouse unmatched in the industry," said Ken Gray, vice president of HP's IT Infrastructure team. "One of the biggest pain points we hear from our customers is how to add compute space quickly and cost effectively—EcoPODs address that."

Installation of a second EcoPOD is almost complete at a nearby data centre, and two more are under construction in Austin, Texas.

Company officials claim the EcoPOD can reduce energy use by 95% compared with traditional data centres. It has a PUE (power usage effectiveness) of 1.05, which means that for every watt used for processing, the EcoPOD only needs another 0.05 watt for cooling and other purposes. Traditional data centres have a PUE of 2.0 or more, although those built in the last few years have achieved PUEs around 1.2 or lower.

Methods used to improve the PUE of a data centre include running at higher air temperatures and using free air cooling unless the outside temperature is too high.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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