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Advantages of Containerized Solutions

OCTOBER 5, 2021

 

by Michael Ruhe, Product Manager Engineered Solutions

The amount of data being transmitted and processed each year is growing with the popularity of streaming services, IoT applications, and the enterprise shift to a hybrid or cloud-based model. Over the last year and a half, the shift to a mainly remote workforce has further increased the demand placed on data centers.

 

As such, many cloud and colocation data center operators are building at a record pace and looking for every conceivable advantage that will enable deploying their resources in a quick, reliable, and cost-effective manner.

One such approach that these operators are employing is the use of modular, or pre-fab, construction and containerized power systems over the traditional stick build.

 

The space required for the future cooling and power systems needs in a traditional stick build can lead to an overall inefficient use of space and an undesirable decrease in the revenue generating white space.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, if the necessary expansion of a traditional data center outpaces the planned expansion, the data center can become undersized and cause owners to sacrifice additional potential profits.

Modular construction and containerized designs offer many advantages that can help alleviate these concerns and should be considered when designing a new build or even upgrading an existing data center.

A modular approach provides significant benefits with regards to speed of deployment and time to market as well. The construction of the module or container occurs off site, usually at a partner integrator in parallel with the construction of the rest of facility.

 

This eliminates the risk of delays that could happen while waiting on approvals, permits, or any additional site work that could become necessary if all this construction was done in the traditional sequential manner.

In addition, the time required for installation and integration will also likely be reduced.

 

Since the module or container is pre-built off site, all the testing and verification of the included systems can be performed immediately following assembly and any issues resolved more easily at the integrator’s site; i.e., the module can then arrive on site ready to be energized and quickly integrated into the data center build.

 

Another benefit for taking this approach can be a reduction in the upfront capital expenses associated with building the data center.

 

Standardizing on the design upfront and selecting the ideal size for your implementation means the need for overbuilding for the future growth can be eliminated on day one, reducing the stranded capacity and upfront equipment expenses. This accelerates the time to seeing positive revenue growth.

 

While there are many benefits to using the modular or containerized approach, it might not always be the best fit for a particular data center build.  For example, depending on the location of the site, increased security may be warranted and more easily achieved with a traditional facility than a container.  

 

It is always best to have a discussion with your partners and vendors to evaluate the pros and cons of a modular approach on your future designs to determine the best solution for your unique application.


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