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Future Data Centers: Boxed or Cloudy

As reported in this week's edition of 5 Minute Briefing, HP is offering a modular, "flexible" data center framework in which prebuilt components are snapped into place. Microsoft and Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) also have offered such ready-to-drop-in data centers, with varying results. HP also disclosed a live customer for its container-based HP Performance-optimized Data Center (POD) - Purdue University, which is using the capacity-on-demand to expand and speed its ability to deliver research projects. Constrained by budget, power and space limitations, Purdue turned to the HP POD to deliver a cost-efficient, containerized environment that can be quickly deployed. Purdue estimates it can expand its research capabilities by 50% within a matter of months for less than one-third the cost of building a new data center. The question going forward is, will these data-centers-in-a-box be the way to go as computing demands grow, or will cloud computing offer the best options? For companies still concerned about security issues, the former may offer a better way to address these needs.

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