Intel wants to consolidate 133 existing IT facilities into eight datacentre hubs and run its datacentres "like an Intel factory," according to Brently Davis, manager of the processor giant’s datacentre efficiency initiative.
Intel currently has about 93,000 servers -- more than one for every employee, with many based on single-core processors, according to Davis.
He has outlined Intel's datacentre consolidation strategy in a short blog posting and an accompanying.
"Like most other companies these days, Intel is facing a growing demand for computing resources," Davis wrote in his blog. "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 datacentre strategy to see where we could make it more efficient."
As part of the consolidation effort, Intel wants to increasingly move to servers with multicore processors as well as server virtualisation software, Davis said in the video. Instead of running one operating system per server, the company wants to put four operating systems on individual machines, he added.
Davis said the consolidation moves may result in as much as US$1.8 billion in cost savings for Intel over the next seven years. It is expected to take that long to fully implement the efficiency program, he said, although he added that the company hopes to accelerate the process and complete the work by 2010 or 2011.
datacentre consolidation has become a mainstream trend within IT departments, including those at major technology vendors. For instance, Hewlett-Packard has been reducing 85 datacentres located worldwide into six major facilities, all in the US, under a consolidation plan announced two years ago.
If Intel did nothing, its server count would continue to rise and might reach 250,000 systems at some point, Davis said.