by Rob Taylor, Bill Kosik and Doug Oathout, Hewlett-Packard

7 Innovative Data Center Designs

Dec 01, 2010
Data Center

From reflective roofs to pods, innovative features have popped up in data centers worldwide this year. Check out these 7 unusual designs.

Now That’s Green

Hewlett-Packard shared this peek at 3 of its own data centers and four customer data centers that break the mold.

Shown here, HP’s next generation Wynyard data center, located in northeast England, uses a progressive free-air cooling technology and an energy-efficient and sustainable design that incorporates recycled materials and harvested rainwater.

The facility is designed to operate without chillers for 98 percent of the year, and achieves an average annual PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness ) rating of less than 1.2.

Slideshow: The World’s Coolest Data Centers

Tornado-Proof and Reflective Roof


HP’s Tulsa, Okla. data center uses a reflective roofing system and an innovative water cooling system that will save several million dollars in costs, while maintaining the capacity to withstand a force five tornado.

Tulsa’s 800,000-gallon chilled-water storage tank enables the facility to operate for up to eight hours without using a chiller/cooling plant.

Slideshow: 5 Tools to Prevent Energy Waste in the Data Center

High Power Density Design


HP’s next generation data center in Colorado Springs, Colo., was built as a high power density facility (200+ watts/sq ft). The average yearly temperature in Colorado Springs is 48 degrees, which allows economizer mode use (no chiller) for more than 50 percent of the year, for reduced energy consumption.

Purdue University Goes Pod


Purdue University deployed an HP Performance Optimized Data Center, or POD, to enhance research efforts while also addressing the space, power and budget constraints faced within its on-campus data center. By implementing the HP POD, Purdue estimates it can expand its research capabilities by 50 percent within a matter of months for less than one-third the cost of building a new data center. The portability of the HP POD enabled the university to place it in front of a power plant, eliminating the possibility of power transfer and capacity issues.

Citigroup Goes For the Gold


Citigroup opened the first newly-constructed data center to earn LEED Gold certification, working with the HP Critical Facilities Services (CFS) team. The HP CFS team supported Citi primarily with the electrical and mechanical systems that power the Central Texas facility. An energy-efficiency dashboard alerts operators when mechanical or electrical units run below peak efficiency. The concrete-encased cooling towers can withstand winds of up to 175 mph, and landscaping with native plantings means the site uses 50 percent less water than conventionally designed grounds.

Not Your Typical Loft


Power Loft is a developer of high-efficiency, high-density and high-security data centers. Designed with the help of HP Critical Facilities Services (CFS), Power Loft’s Viriginia facility uses high-efficiency commercial air handlers rather than traditional computer room air conditioning units (CRACs). Six 180-ton air handlers (shown here) have variable-frequency drives and perform the work of nine 20-ton CRACs. These are rated as 25 percent more energy efficient than the traditional solution, but Power Loft says that in operation they’re 40 percent more efficient.

Just Three Server Cabinets


Roswell Park Cancer Institute provides comprehensive cancer care and fundamental contributions to cancer research. Facing an increasingly expanding system, Roswell consolidated 200 of the institute’s physical servers into 174 virtual machines. All but three of Roswell’s server cabinets (shown here) will be removed when the data center consolidates onto the HP BladeSystem Matrix. The center expects the consolidated environment to reduce overhead costs by an estimated $2 million, including reduced costs for system administrative, maintenance and power and cooling.

About the authors:

From Hewlett-Packard, Rob Taylor is a VP of Data Center Services, Enterprise Services; Bill Kosik is a Principal Data Center Energy Technologist, Technology Services; and Doug Oathout is a VP of Marketing, Converged Infrastructure.