Data Center Containers – On the Move

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.

Container Data Centers: “Waiting for Godot” meets “The Price is Right”

Regular readers of this blog will know that we are strong advocates of container data centers as a step toward modular data center design and as a facility component for extremely dense data processing.¬† Earlier posts talked about 2008 as a breakout year for containers (it wasn’t) and containers used as facility components in cargo ship data centers (haven’t seen them either).

It seems that 2009 isn’t going to click for containers either.¬† We’ve seen reaffirmations from Microsoft and select others that containers are still a planned component in the construction of data centers for very high density data processing, but this too seems to be lagging.

…Where are the containers?¬† They’re coming.¬† When?¬† They’re coming.

Still More Thoughts on Container Data Centers

In April we predicted that this would be the break-out year for container data centers. In July we posted more information about container data centers when we were working MEP cost models for container-based facilities. The year is half over now, and though the “break-out” has yet to happen there have been some very notable developments that deserve discussion. Let’s start here by reflecting on those things that make container data centers interesting for enterprise IT.

Update on Cargo Ship Data Centers

I promised an update on the progress of the ship-based data center concept floated (yes a pun) by International Data Security (IDS). A recent post on Silverback’s blog explains that the first launch (perhaps a pun) is now delayed until Q3 of 2008, and gives a few more details.

IDS continues to see the ship-based data center concept as a lucrative opportunity, given the continued demand for data center space, the notion that ship-based data centers can reduce the time to market by as much as 65% and that the Cap-Ex is estimated to be a third less than a comparable brick and mortar facility.

Year of the Container Data Center: Spring has sprung for the new limb on the Data Center family tree

Momentum is a powerful force, and momentum coupled with synergies cannot be denied. Today IBM is announcing their entry into the Container Data Center space. Starting with their newly released iDataPlex high density server product, and riding the wake of Microsoft’s widely publicized embracing of Data Center Containers, the recipe was there for a product…