We’ve written quite a bit in this forum about containerized data centers, and our hope that in addition to providing great utility in current high density data processing implementations, they would also pave the way for a more pragmatic, modular approach to building data center space.¬† We still feel that there are improvements to be made regarding the cost of scaling the data center in alignment with near-time scaling of “the Business.”
After a period of many months during which there seemed to be little movement in the container world, the past few months have shown numerous new container product releases and announcements of new container concepts from an even wider array of suppliers.¬† It seems too, that the idea of “containers” is busting out from the limitations of shipping container form factors.¬† This development, we think, is indication of an approaching evolutionary step in the use of containerized space as a useful modular scaling option.
We will introduce a few of these new developments here, in order to present a view of the direction of new work in this area, and save detailed discussion on individual products for later posts.
One of the more interesting concepts is from a provider that we, at least, didn’t see coming in this space and that is Wipro.¬† Wipro has announced its FluidState data center concept.¬† “FluidState” stands for Flexible, Lean, Upgradable, Intelligent Datacenter and is said to be a mashup of technology from Cisco, Hitachi, HP, and EMC (seems like a lot of overlap there, doesn’t it?).¬† This concept has speed of deployment at its core, with a claim of one-week setup time and can even be scaled down with business demand.¬† That’s a very interesting design feature indeed.
Another entrant in this space is from i/o Data Centers.¬† The i/o Anywhere Data Center is positioned as a service product, where the modular solution is delivered to the customer in a matter of weeks and includes all of the critical infrastructure as well as the payload floor, and comes with a 100% uptime SLA.¬† With pictures speaking more than words, the following video gives a great impression of the level of scalability and modularity of this solution.
Furthermore, a vote of comfort for this solution comes from the use of this same architecture in i/o’s own commercial colocation facility business.¬† Such facilities can be built in increments ranging from 1,400 square feet to 20,000 square feet, and there is even an option for solar power assistance.
A third player new to coverage here is the Australian company, Datapod. Datapod is releasing a system of data center component modules, with infrastructure based upon APC’s InfraStruXure product set.¬†¬† Datapod containers come in a variety of sizes up to 20-feet, and can include both IT and infrastructure equipment or an assortment of specialized modules.¬† The following is a video from APC showing assembly of a Datapod data center:
The fourth entrant we’ll share today is from Colt.¬† Unlike most of the other players in this space, Colt’s modules are in 500 square meter increments, deployable in under four months.
Normally recognized as a network and IT services company, Colt will build and test the entire data center facility in the manufacturing plant, before shipping it to the end customer.¬† Colt created a new Colt Data Centre Services Division to manage this part of their business.
The products and concepts introduced here are different from container-based offerings we’ve covered before, in that we see forward progress toward an agile, modular approach to building general enterprise class data center facilities that are not necessarily based on high density data processing footprint locked into a specific vendor.¬† This is evidence of the evolutionary step we’ve been hoping for from the container area.