Containerized data centers – sorting through the confusion

The future for containerized data centers is a bit uncertain right now.

05/24/2012


The future for containerized data centers is a bit uncertain right now. After a recent trip to the Uptime Symposium in Santa Clara, Calif., where modular data centers were the hot-topic, it seems that there’s more than a little confusion around the subject.

First – What exactly is a containerized data center? Dan Golding, of RagingWire, gave a great presentation pleading with analysts and media alike to take more consideration when talking about containerized data centers. Are we talking about data centers in an ISO container, data centers in a metal enclosure, a pre-fab module that’s not enclosed, or are we just talking about phased building with a modular approach? Heeding his advice, I’d like to clearly state that I am talking about data centers shipped in both ISO containers or any kind of metal enclosure. Henceforth I’ll refer to them as containerized modular data centers or CMDCs.

Second – How will the supplier market shake-out? There’s an abundance of vendors offering CMDC solutions, and based on the number of shipments tentatively estimated for 2012, it may be that there isn’t enough business to support the multitude of companies. Not only are there a lot of companies, but it’s also an interesting assortment: integrators, colocation providers, data center power manufacturers, server manufacturers, and electrical contractors are all throwing their hat in the game. What kind of company is best suited for this market? And how are they going to work with the other entities involved in the supply chain?

Third – What is the market for this? Sure, Amazon, Google, Microsoft are all publicizing their use of containers in their hyper-scale data centers. But these are the typical leading edge players, always ready and willing to innovate; and also creating their own solution, operating outside of the available market for the above mentioned suppliers. And what about those companies who don’t order thousands of servers at a time, and are operating IT loads of around 250 kW? It seems like a CMDC might be overkill in a data center this size, that maybe colocations or cloud services are a better choice.

But there are some major benefits to CMDCs that can be realized if implemented for the right application and customer. IO gave an impression-leaving demonstration of the security and monitoring capable in a CMDC. And if done correctly, standardization for international companies and faster deployments to meet rapid changes in business needs, can be achieved. So it seems CMDCs are here to stay, but how big will this market become? I’m venturing into a five month study of this market and plan on unraveling the confusion and answering these questions. 



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
9 tips: How to integrate a servo system; Process control mathematical models; Serial network grounding; Engineers' Choice Awards; Learn from cyber security mistakes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me