Hewlett-Packard unveiled a scaled down version of its Performance Optimized Data center this week, giving companies the flexibility to add capacity without a major expansion or facility overhaul.

The 20-foot version of the Performance Optimized Data (POD) center offers about half the computing power of a 40-foot, data-center-in-a-box product originally introduced by HP in July of 2008. The shorter version is easier to transport and is aimed at companies, government agencies and institutions which may not need the full capacity offered by the larger model.

The new model can pack about 1,500 computing nodes, or 5,000 large form factor hard drives, and can be outfitted with ten, 50-unit racks. It has a power capacity of about 27kW per rack. The 20-foot POD sells for about $600,000, not including all the technology packed inside, which is about half the price of its larger cousin.

HP says the beauty of the POD is that it allows an organization to deploy data center capacity in a matter of weeks – where you want it, practically anywhere in the world. HP can usually ship a POD within six weeks of receiving the order.

HP is not alone in going after the potential market for portable or containerized data centers. Other vendors with competitive offerings include IBM, Rackable, Sun Microsystems, and Verari Systems.





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