What Is A Modular Data Center?
Modular data centers are portable server shelters prefabricated and built to order. Modular data centers aka MDC's can be deployed at virtually any location so long as power and cooling provisions can be made available to connect the portable MDC structure to end users. They offer significant up-front cost savings and enough flexibility to scale resources as needed to suit the networking demands of a growing business. They are sometimes referred to ‘modular solutions’ and can be classified into 3 different categories:
1) Container based
2) Modular based
3) Modular Provider
What Is a Container Based Modular Data Center?A container based data center is a pre-fabricated modular container that can be outfitted with server racks, power and cooling provisions, and shipped to almost any location. Container-based solutions are built to international standards to withstand weather conditions specific to each geographic region.
What Is a Modular Based Solution?A modular solution is also a pre-fabricated structure that can be made to order and deployed anywhere. This specific type of modular solution typically consists of inter-locking walls, ceilings, and floors that are built on site. Square footage is typically pre-calculated based on need.
What Is a Modular Data Center Provider?A modular provider is a data center company who builds and then leases modular style data center solutions to customers. Modular providers work with clients to deliver solutions that fit their budget. Clients can then scale resources up, or down as needed.
What Are the Advantages of a Modular Data Center?They offer scalable cost structures allowing clients to ‘pay as they grow.’ MDC's offer the following advantages:
- Deployment – Easier to deploy than ‘bricks and mortar’ facilities, which can take months or years to design, build, and certify.
- Efficiency – Highly controlled environments designed to curb common inefficiencies associated with legacy data centers. Power consumption is kept to a minimum as modular server shelters are deployed on an ‘as needed’ basis.
- Cost Effectiveness – Clients can order up enough data center space to satisfy current needs of the organization. ‘Pay as you grow’ cost structure reduces up-front costs.
What Are the Operational Considerations of the MDC?Standardization MDC's are usually built off site from where they are installed and usually in an industrial setting, so that everything is made with exact specifications, using consistent materials and procedures. Since the modules are usually pre-fabricated, operational procedures can be standardized and documentation made consistent and uniform. Data Management Software Since the modules are standardized, the design and implementation of software to manage the data centers can be made in a very detailed way to monitor and manage different detailed aspects of the data center. This means that it is easy to manage several data center modules at once as well as utilize cloud computing technology.
What Are the Design and Cost Considerations of the Modular Data Center?Ownership Costs The main cost considerations when it comes to modular data center include:
- Cost of acquisition: the cost of purchasing these data center modules is more manageable because you can purchase only what you need immediately, and therefore over-building for the sake of future-proofing is not very important.
- Cost of installation: This cost is highly reduced in terms of time taken to set it up as well as cash used, especially because a modular data system can be installed in days or weeks at most and not over the 12 months it takes for a traditional data system.
- Cost of operation: since components are standardized, efficiency of the modules can be optimized, further reducing cost and downtime.
- Cost of maintenance: Due to the standardization, replacement of parts and the expertise to maintain the data centers is not difficult to find at an affordable cost.
What Are Different Enterprises where MDC's Are Found?Data centers are useful and not limited to the following sectors:
- Information technology and the telecom industry
- Banking, insurance, and finance services
- Government and public organizations
- Energy sector
- Defense and security
- Healthcare and education sectors