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Hewlett-Packard thinks it can build data centers faster and more cheaply by using standard, pre-built components that are assembled on site in a “Lego-like” fashion.

Its Flexible Data Center, announced Tuesday, consists of four large data center halls, or quadrants, that are built around an operations building in the center. It’s constructed from prefabricated sheet metal parts, and the quadrants, each about 6,000 square feet, can be added one at a time as a company’s capacity needs increase.

It’s a big departure from traditional brick and mortar data centers, which are usually designed on a custom basis and take more than a year to build. Using standard designs and factory-built components, HP says it can reduce construction costs by a half and get a new data center up and running in four to six months.

“We came up with a Lego-like concept, an industrialized approach to data center design,” said Kfir Godrich, a CTO in HP’s Technology Service group. The data centers are also highly energy efficient, he said.

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HP says prefab data center cuts costs in half