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Hewlett-Packard is consolidating its 85 data centers worldwide into six centers in the United States, a move the company said will save $1 billion in IT costs over the next few years and give it a chance to showcase its adaptive infrastructure capabilities.

The data centers will be spread between three cities, with two facilities each in Atlanta, Houston and Austin, Texas, HP announced May 17. The consolidation will take several years to complete, according to a company spokesperson.

In an unrelated move, Gateway announced May 17 that is opening a build-to-order plant in Nashville, Tenn., expected to open in October.

HP officials said they will put the latest technology into their six data centers, from Itanium-based Integrity servers and BladeSystem blade servers to the most effective cooling products, to lights-out management capabilities via OpenView software, enabling administrators to manage the centers remotely.

They also will use HP’s StorageWorks devices and smart cooling technologies, which the company expects will save up to 25 percent in utility costs.

Click here to read more about HP’s cooling technologies.

The centers will be designed in a module fashion that can be configured quickly as needed, and each will have more than 50,000 square feet of usable floor space. They’ll be located within 15 miles of each other, making it easier to service each of them.

“The capabilities that we deliver will not only be the right solution to meet our own business requirements, but will also provide the best environment for our customers to see first-hand what HP technology and services can do for them,” President and CEO Mark Hurd said in a prepared statement. “These facilities will serve as a model of the next-generation data center that HP believes represents the future of enterprise computing.”

HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., has long touted its own use of its adaptive enterprise technology as a way of showcasing those capabilities to partners and users. When announcing the Adaptive Enterprise initiative in 2003, then-CEO Carly Fiorina said that one reason the integration of Compaq had gone relatively smoothly in its first year was due to HP’s use of these technologies.

“We are our own best proof point,” Fiorina said at the time.

Though the new centers will be designed for HP’s internal use, the company’s services business will continue to use more than 70 data centers in 23 countries to work with customers.

HP’s announcement comes a day after it released solid second-quarter earnings, including 5 percent revenue growth and $1.7 billion in profit.

For its part, Gateway is hoping its new Nashville facility, which will assemble build-to-order computers, servers and storage devices, will help its direct professional and consumer businesses. It also will provide custom integration and software imaging services.

Gateway, of Irvine, Calif., is using the infrastructure of one of its suppliers to help get the facility up and running quickly, officials said. The supplier will take a minority interest in the operation, they said.

Gateway expects to employ more than 300 workers in the first year, with an annual payroll of about $8 million.

The facility is being jointly funded by Gateway, the service partner and the state of Tennessee, according to a Gateway spokesperson. The company’s share of the total investment is less than $6 million.

Gateway declined to name the partner involved in the initiative.

Gateway selected Nashville for its superior in-bound and out-bound logistics and proximity to supplier warehouses, company officials said.

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