Containerized Data Centers: 10 Ways They Reduce IT Costs, Solve Problems

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-07-31
 
 
 

Flexibility in Collocation Facilities

Many collocation facilities are continually seeking faster and cheaper ways to "step and repeat" computer power and support systems for their customers. As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This is especially applicable to businesses rolling out collocation facilities for their growing IT needs. Rather than redesigning and building facilities from the ground up, then shuttering them when customer demand drops, modular centers provide businesses with a solution to cost effectively upsize (and downsize) in large-kilowatt, modular building blocks to quickly respond to fluctuations in service demand.

Flexibility in Collocation Facilities

Cooling and Power

A current issue affecting many data centers is the lack of power and cooling capacity—as well as physical space—needed to meet surges in customer demand. Modular data center facilities can quickly add cooling and power capacity to traditional data centers, enabling additional servers to be placed into existing racks and creating higher rack densities, which can in turn be provisioned by the supplemental power and cooling modular facilities bring.

Cooling and Power

Tight Time Constraints

Traditional data centers can take as much as two years to deliver from concept to commissioning. When getting a new business off the ground, time is vital. Modular data centers can bring the full breadth of IT services that a business needs, with the added advantage of a significantly faster, out-of-the-box deployment. This is especially valuable to businesses that place a high priority on early delivery, such as companies that find it critical to be the first to market a new product or service.

Tight Time Constraints

Reduces Investment Loss in Leased Facilities

When operating in a leased facility, businesses face a significant potential loss of investment when building traditional data centers. If a business needs to deploy data center power and cooling, but its lease runs out in 18 months, it does not make much business sense to pour money into designing and constructing a traditional data center, which is a fixed asset the business will have to leave behind. If a lease is not renewed due to financial or location reasons, businesses using modular data centers can physically move their data center physical infrastructure investment to a new location with the rest of their business—something one simply cannot do with a traditional facility.

Reduces Investment Loss in Leased Facilities

Power and Cooling Management

IT departments and professionals who wish not to rely on the stretched resources of corporate facility departments (which often are disconnected as they focus on management of the entire building) can leverage facility modules to control their own chilled water supply. When compared with traditional, custom-built data centers, the number of internal and external sign-offs required for the acquisition and control of power and cooling is significantly reduced when using a modular approach, giving IT departments much more autonomy and control over these functions and in turn allowing them to slash waste and extraneous energy consumption when applicable.

Power and Cooling Management

Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)

Aging data center facilities are often saddled with an outdated infrastructure characterized by poor PUE, and leading to increased energy costs and emissions. Outdated data center facilities such as these may only be marginally improved within the constraints of their existing physical plant. Supplemental modular facilities, however, can help solve these very problems with inefficient data center design, which long-established facilities may have inherited over the years since their construction.

Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)

Better Use of Vacant Space

Traditional data centers require the construction or renovation of a completely dedicated and new space, even when vacant space is in short supply. Due to their versatility, data center modules can be placed almost anywhere they'll fit. This is especially useful for businesses with unused office and warehouse space, which can be populated with a series of prepackaged modules. Using this already-available space avoids the delays and construction costs of building a new brick-and-mortar wing.

Better Use of Vacant Space

Brings Advanced Technology to Remote Locations

Not all businesses are located in technology and IT industry epicenters, often making it difficult to find quality engineering and services to build an efficient data center. In regions where design and manufacturing expertise is hard to find, constructing a traditional data center could likely prove difficult and be accompanied by astronomical costs. Rolling a power module, cooling module and IT module off a delivery truck and connecting it to your office or production facility is an ideal option when you might not have ready access to architects, engineers, and contractors.

Brings Advanced Technology to Remote Locations

Provides a Ruggedized Enclosure

Companies that operate in extreme environmental conditions often find this translates to extra costs when constructing their traditional data centers to ensure their IT equipment is protected from the elements. Prefabricated modules can be manufactured to various degrees of environmental ratings, capable of withstanding wind, water, toxins, pollution and any other element Mother Nature has in store.

Provides a Ruggedized Enclosure

Global Standardization

When attempting to establish standard processes and operations across borders, companies often face many cultural, language and equipment barriers when designing and constructing data centers in various international locations. Data center facility modules offer a simple solution to standardization, with prefabricated equipment ready to operate. This standardization strategy reduces engineering costs, training requirements, spare parts, on-site installation costs, on-site testing and custom programming.

Global Standardization

Rocket Fuel