HP ZCentral 4R 1U Rack Workstation

  • 2021

  • Product
    Consumer Electronics

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

HP Inc.

Designed In:

United States of America

For video editors, VR creators, and graphics workstation users, powerful computers take up significant desk space and create heat. ZCentral was designed in the United States of America to centralize this noise, heat and power requirements in a single room, away from the desk. The user then interacts with ZCentral via a thin client or remote computer.

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  • ZCentral is designed to be easy to maintain and easy to use. Servers in a data rack are usually made without attention to the sheet metal, vent, or port arrangement. They're made, less than designed. They have sharp sheet metal, ports wherever is convenient, and they usually don't pay attention to symmetry. HP was challenged to make a server that was intentionally designed to both work and look good. ZCentral is unusual in that it is designed. All edges are finished to eliminate any sharp edges, common on competitor products.

  • All vent lines, grilles, and openings are aligned on a grid. The port layout is intentionally designed to be both easy to access and visually aligned. The main finish is powder coated black. The bezel is coated with a water-based based metallic paint. ZCentral is designed to be easy to visually check status, and front looks like a black band. The black bezel is plastic with a sheetmetal frame behind it for strength. It locks the ports for security and causes status lights behind it to show through the bezel while making the appearance more elegant.

  • ZCentral has raised awareness of HP's ability to serve video production customers during remote work due to Covid-19. Television production was accelerated during remote work by ZCentral's processing power for remote clients, and well-designed chassis and physical configuration in the data center. The work has a positive impact on HP's reputation, earning HP an Emmy award for engineering.

  • ZCentral has been perfect for render farms, and is easy to setup, so that users can work from whatever environment is most comfortable. ZCentral makes remote work possible for users who need workstation power but don't need all that power at their desk.