DataCenterNews Asia logo
Specialist data center news for Asia
Story image

Modular Magic: How a non-traditional modular data centre can bring you significant savings

Thu 12 May 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

By Adil Attlassy, Chief Development Officer, IO

Data Centers have been quite misunderstood. Most people think they’re just ‘server boxes’ and while that definition may be true on a very basic level, it’s these ‘boxes’ that drive the modern economy.

Ninety percent of all collective information created in the past decade lives on the Internet. The storage and exchange of information through the web is made possible by data centers. Governments, enterprises, and consumers around the world have a vital dependence on computer systems, software and networks, and data centers to keep their countries, businesses, and everyday lives running.

There is a challenge to this reliance on technology - to keep systems, software and data centers operational requires incredible amounts of energy. This is especially true in a country like Singapore, which has a tropical climate and high humidity levels that contribute to the already-high energy footprints generated by data centers and systems.

Based on Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (“IDA”) estimates, the 10 largest data center operators in Singapore use the same amount of energy as 130,000 typical Housing and Development Board (“HDB”) households, a figure that is bound to rise as the data center base continues to grow in the Republic. As such, in a press release announcing the launch of the Green Data Center Innovation Programme (GDCIP), IDA pointed out that data center operators need to consider emerging technologies to improve energy efficiency.

At IO, we have identified a way to help our customers reduce their energy footprint by providing technology in our colocation data centers that allows for a Power Usage Effectiveness (“PUE”) level that is lower than our competitors.

Lower PUE – why does it matter?A data center typically has three key components – energy, water, and information. One component captures and transmits energy to the data center. The second component is the data center itself which is responsible for power conditioning, cooling, security and other support systems. And finally, the customer’s IT system that is housed within the data center is responsible for turning energy into information.

Figure 1. The water-energy-information system

Figure 1. The water-energy-information system

 At IO, we tested a theory that suggested that data center design could play a part in increasing energy efficiency and saving costs by comparing the energy usage between a modular data center and a traditional raised floor data center over a one-year period. To ensure fair comparisons between the two, both data center environments were tested within the same geography. This meant that the weather conditions faced by the building’s cooling system which housed both environments were identical. The two environments also shared the same chiller plant, which is used to cool the water used in the data center.

After a year of testing and monitoring, it was found that a customer with 1 megawatt (MW) of IT load will require 1.73MW of facility power in a traditional raised floor environment versus 1.41MW in a modular environment. The difference might seem small but a .32MW savings over the course of 8,760 hours in a year has a direct impact on energy cost, the amount of water used, and overall carbon emission levels.   The figure below shows the total amount of savings incurred through using a modular design​.

Figure 2. Total cost, carbon emission, and water savings incurred when using a modular data center design (right-hand column)

The results say ‘Go modular’

The comparative study demonstrated that IO’s modular data center deployment resulted in 19% energy cost savings and 44% energy waste reduction compared to the traditional raised-floor data center environment.

In a modular design, each module houses a much smaller volume of air per server than an open floor. Furthermore, high density modules can sit next to low density modules and the cooling system can cater to the requirements of each. IO’s modules are cooled via a bi-directional chilled water loop that runs around the bottom of the units. This approach allows for large amounts of savings just on cooling alone.

With a modular approach, data center capacity can also be deployed in smaller units and on-demand, just as storage compute and networking are delivered. This eliminates the wasteful over-provisioning of capacity found in traditional environments, thus reducing an organisation’s energy costs and carbon footprint.

From a business standpoint, the modular data center concept also lowers business risk. Companies don’t have to build entire sites based on an anticipated three to five year forecast. Instead they can build their data centers for the twelve to 18 months and add capacity as needed, as additional units can be added to the modular sites to increase capacity quickly as needs change. This allows organisations to manage their cash flow better and invest in other business segments as needed.

Overall, the case to go modular is strong – your data center should be an asset that grows and adapts to internal business changes or the greater IT world versus being an underutilised, over-provisioned, and expensive investment.

To find out more about IO’s research between traditional raised floor data centers and modular models, download the whitepaper here1 SP Services (2016, March). Historical Tariff Table. Retrieved from Energy Market Authority website https://www.ema.gov.sg/Non_Residential_Programmes_Electricity_Tariffs.aspx 2 Energy Market Authority (2016, April). Grid Emission Factor. Retrieved from Energy Market Authority (EMA) website https://www.ema.gov.sg/cmsmedia/Publications_and_Statistics/Statistics/OTS12.pdf 3 P. Flynn, IO. (2015). Quantitative analysis of energy and financial savings for full-year operation of modular data center relative to raised floor environment.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Sustainability
Intel unveils new investments for data center sustainability
Intel has announced two new investments, continuing its efforts to create more sustainable data center technology.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Research
New strategies for cloud-native attacks - Aqua Security
New research from Aqua Security reveals attackers are using more sophisticated techniques to target cloud-native environments.
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Kacific launches emergency connectivity offering, CommsBox
Kacific has announced the release of a new emergency connectivity offering designed to rapidly provide broadband service in emergency or disaster zones.
Story image
SaaS
Cisco reveals new tech, intends to prevent network issues
Cisco has revealed new technology intended to mitigate costly disruptions by aiding IT teams in learning, predicting and planning.
Story image
Sustainability
ABB unlocks sustainable energy upgrades for data centers
ABB says its new microgrid solutions will get data centers ready for the green revolution and use their own energy sources with a reduced carbon footprint.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Red Hat
Red Hat expands capabilities to provide streamlined application development in cloud
"Application development is undergoing significant change and developers need tools to support this transformation."
Story image
Sustainability
NTT launches IoT Services for Sustainability offering
"We know what actions are needed to build a more sustainable future and have a robust suite of technologies available to help deliver this impact."
Story image
APAC
Odaseva expands in APAC and UK with more security features
Odaseva, a data platform for Salesforce, is establishing new headquarters in London as well as a new data center in India.
Story image
Akamai
Akamai announces new products across security, computing
Akamai has announced a series of new products and updates to existing products across its security and compute product lines, including its entry into the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market.
Story image
Sustainability
Siemens showcases new automated solutions for data centers
Siemens has implemented new automated solutions and AI in the Baltic region's largest data center, providing insight into the future of data center management.
Story image
Digital Transformation
EdgeConneX enters Indonesia, plans for data center campus
EdgeConnex has announced it is expanding its presence in Asia with the acquisition of GTN Data Center in Indonesia.
Story image
Sustainability
RDA and MVGX partner for sustainable data center development
Red Dot Analytics (RDA) and MetaVerse Green Exchange (MVGX) have entered a strategic partnership to make Singapore's data center development and operations more sustainable.
Story image
Cable
New high-performance cable in the works for Asia
A new high-performance submarine cable is being built to enhance connectivity between Hong Kong, China and Southeast Asia.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Telstra
Telstra expands business offerings in the Philippines
The expansion aims to offer more choice for customers and enhance connectivity into the Philippines, and within the country.
Story image
Databricks
Databricks grows in APAC market, expands into Korea
Databricks officially launches a local office in Seoul, Korea, building on existing partnerships with Cloocus, Megazone and the Weverse Company
Story image
BitTitan
Why tenant consolidation is critical to cloud success
Consolidating tenants can improve cost management, security and engagement after a flurry of reactive activity following the widespread shift to remote operations.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Data Center
Digital Edge to build South Korea's largest commercial data center
The project will be the largest commercial data center project in South Korea with total IT power of 120MW and a capital investment of more than KWR$1 trillion.
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Storage
Energy storage demand momentum continues, says BYD
BYD has announced an expansion of its production capacities and will deliver 250,000 units of its energy storage system, BYD Battery-Box Premium.
Story image
Power / Energy
Keysight Technologies introduces new next-gen DPT solution
Keysight Technologies has announced its new next-generation Double-Pulse Tester (DPT) with the PD1550A Advanced Dynamic Power Device Analyser.
Story image
Sustainability
YTL unveils development of solar-powered data center campus
YTL Power (YTL) has announced the development of a 500MW data center campus in Johor, the first data center park in Malaysia to be powered by solar energy.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Sustainability
Daikin and SP Group to build new energy efficient district cooling system
The project, set to be complete by 2025, will create a system with a cooling capacity of up to 36,000 refrigerant tonnes (RT). 
Story image
Cloud
Colt connectivity with AWS increases services in Asia
Colt Technology Services expands cloud connectivity to AWS Direct Connect Hosted services, with speeds of up to 10 Gbps in Asia.
Story image
Sisense
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Power / Energy
DigitalBridge makes $30 million equity investment in LEDC
Leading Edge Data Centres (LEDC) has announced it has secured an AUD$30 million equity investment in its regional edge network from an affiliate of DigitalBridge Group, DigitalBridge.
Story image
Surveillance
Genetec launches new enclosure management system for data centers
Genetec has released a new enclosure management solution that will give data centers the ability to secure, monitor and manage access to racks and cabinets remotely.
Story image
Hyperscale
SpaceDC partners with Aofei for data center sales in Asia
SpaceDC has partnered with Aofei Data International to sell Aofei's data centers, CDN and SDN in China.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Digital Transformation
Multiplex, NEXTDC making strong progress on S3 data centre
Multiplex has made a significant achievement on Stage 1 of NEXTDC’s S3 data centre, ‘topping out’ the structure in the Artarmon on Sydney’s lower North Shore.
Story image
Data Center
CBRE finds record levels of investment in APAC data centers
CBRE's new report finds direct investment in the sector more than doubled in 2021, surpassing investment volumes for the past four years combined
Story image
Sustainability
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - SoftIron CMO on Data Center Sustainability
In a special Power/Energy feature week presentation, we are joined by SoftIron CMO Andrew Moloney.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
SD-WAN
Orange moves Siemens AG’s entire operations to a SD-WAN
Orange Business Services has migrated Siemens AG's entire global operations, 1168 sites across 94 countries, to a SD-WAN
Story image
Data Center
Equinix enters Africa, closing US$320 million acquisition of MainOne
The completion of the acquisition augments Equinix's long-term strategy to become a leading African carrier-neutral digital infrastructure company.
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Infrastructure
Report - Data investment the key to better business growth
New research from Digital Realty has revealed that almost half (47%) of IT leaders globally believe their business investment in data systems and infrastructure is a key obstacle or concern.
Story image
Data Center
Tier III Ready Datacenter solutions shortlisted for major awards
"These designs will accelerate data center clients' own Tier III certification, reduce the cost, and fast-track their time to market."