Article by Schneider Electric data center solution manager Matthew Tavares
In the fast-moving data center business, the formula for colocation providers’ on-going success consists of providing customers compute infrastructure that is quickly deployed, scalable and reliable, without compromising safety, quality or tying up excess cash flow.
The traditional “stick built” approach to constructing data centers – which involves many months of serial planning, scheduling, and inefficient construction cycles – is less realistic for staying competitive and meeting business demands.
In order to address these time-to-market and construction challenges, more and more colocation providers are turning to modern, modular data center approaches.
Also referred to as prefabricated modules or skids, the concept of modular building blocks of power, cooling and compute capacity has been around for more than a decade.
However, as business demands have evolved during the current era of the Internet of Things and Big Data, interest in these modular building blocks of data center architecture have increased.
These pre-assembled, factory tested modules can reside either inside or outside of a facility, and can be quickly deployed as either single or multiple modules, wherein a system of modules creates a large IT space.
Colocation providers ramp up modular data center investment
Here are the principal reasons why colocation providers are increasing their investment and decreasing their construction risk when deploying a modernized modular data center approach:
According to Chris Crosby, Founder and CEO of Compass Data Centers, a wholesale cloud service provider, noted in a recent webinar that: “A parallel path reduces scheduling and safety risk, it also enables standardization of processes and procedures. This reduces job site chaos and allows us to deliver product in 6 months or less.”
Standardization also addresses the issue of inconsistent expertise in the labor force across geographies. Many cloud and service providers follow their clientele across the globe. If similar design, engineering and project plans are implemented by factory experts across the geographies, then deployment quality is more consistent and greatly simplified.
Enhanced modular data center architecture drive efficiencies
The newest offerings in modular data centers now incorporate the latest technologies that further enhance architecture efficiency.
These include the incorporation of lithium-ion batteries (for even bigger footprint and TCO savings), the latest high efficiency UPS technology (in order to further limit CO2 emissions and to reduce energy costs) and the latest software for monitoring, controlling and providing insightful analytics around the performance of your modular data center.