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[eWeek]: HP Looks to Nature for Data Center of the Future

When George Daniels looks at today’s data centers, he sees an outdated model in desperate need of change.

Daniels, general manager of Hewlett-Packard‘s Enterprise Design Center, isn’t the only person thinking about reinventing the data center. Sun Microsystems has been making energy efficiency an increasingly important selling point (though you’d be hard-pressed to find that out from their web site) and co-sponsoring conferences with DOE on data center energy impacts. AMD has billboards up in this area touting the energy efficiency of their chips.
This HP story offers a novel twist, though, drawing from the growing biomimicry meme:

They instead looked to nature, seeking patterns that would help them break away from rectangular boxes. They looked at everything from honeycombs to seashells to roses.
What they’ve come up with is a design unlike what’s seen in data centers today, based on the hexagon pattern found in snowflakes, with a six-sided core at the center from which everything else expands out. ‘This seems to have an awful lot of recurrence in nature, as well as … what we design as human beings,’ Daniels said, referring to such structures as airport terminals.

As I’ve long maintained,

Nature’s ecosystems have nearly four billion years experience developing efficient, adaptive, resilient systems. Why reinvent the wheel, when the R & D has already been done?