The firm currently has 133 IT facilities and announced these will be consolidated into eight data center hubs. The new server park will be more energy efficient and will use more virtualization technology.
“Like most other companies these days, Intel is facing a growing demand for computing resources,” Davis wrote in his posting. “As a result, our computing costs are going up along with that demand. All of these issues prompted us to take a hard look at our data center strategy to see where we could make it more efficient.”Intel expects the upgrade will save them $1.8 billion over the next seven years.
As part of the consolidation effort, Intel wants to increasingly move to servers with multicore processors, Davis said in the video. The company now has about 93,000 servers — more than one for each employee. And many are based on single-core processors, he said.
Intel also plans to adopt server virtualization software more widely. Davis said the consolidation work is expected to take seven years, although he added that the company hopes to accelerate the process and finish by 2010 or 2011.
Data center consolidation has become a mainstream trend at companies, including major IT vendors. For instance, Hewlett-Packard Co. has been consolidating 85 worldwide data centers into six facilities, all in the U.S., under a plan announced two years ago.
Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata Inc., said that companies can get dramatic savings through data center consolidation, which typically also involves consolidating applications and other software programs to ensure that different systems are running the same product versions.