In an industry like the data center business, disruption, innovation and change are all constant. But a new report from Vertiv explores one primary concern the company sees as universal: “how to manage unpredictable growing demand today while remaining flexible for the future.” The new white paper explores prefabricated modular data centers as one potential strategy to “future proof” the industry.
One of the factors driving this potential shift is the growing number of edge compute cases. These, Vertiv points out, will potentially require significant volumes of medium to small — or even micro — data centers to manage the workloads associated with the Internet of Things or IoT.
“Edge site deployments could range from a 5 MW facility in a city to a single, hardened-rack next to a 5G mast on a building rooftop. Meeting that disruption from the core to the edge with conventional building approaches where every new facility is a ‘beautiful, unique snowflake’ will be near impossible,” Vertiv asserts.
The traditional construction process, in the past, has been the go-to, as the report states there often weren’t any viable alternatives. That said, these construction methods are time intensive, and it can often be difficult to factor future growth into the design.
“Relying on these processes, organizations have either had to deploy capacity before it is needed —creating risk and stranding capital— or consistently stay a step behind their capacity requirements, limiting growth,” according to Vertiv.
Consequently, many data center owners and operators are turning to prefab or modular methods for the value of the more flexible approach.
The new Vertiv white paper offers a review of the background and history that led PFM (prefabricated modular) data center systems toward industry mass adoption, a summary of variations that meet market demands, and analysis of PFM benefits, in support PFM as a default consideration for data center operators.
“PFM is not just containerized data centers: A wide variety of customizable form-factors now exist to meet almost any customer requirement for new capacity from whitespace to power to cooling.” — Vertiv
The speed of disruption and the current data-surge cycle continues to demand transformation in the data-center industry. And the response to these demands is making data center operators consider options like modular data centers, as well a traditional construction options.
That said, PFM data centers are new technology, and a knowledge gap remains. The new report explores what prefabricated and modular truly mean to this industry and the benefits they can confer to the construction, operation, and modification of critical facilities like data centers.
Download the new white paper from Vertiv, “Prefabricated Modular Data Centers: From Disruption to Default Option,” that provides clarity on the ins and outs of PFM data centers.