Gradually scaling a data center is one of the most challenging feats any organization can face. That’s according to a new white paper from Sabey Data Centers that explores the concept of modular designs in colocation.
Big data is booming — and continues to grow. Many enterprises are still deciding how to store this data, and what option is most cost effective.
According to the new Sabey report, even enterprises that are willing or able to spend extra money over-provisioning space for potential growth struggle with how much capacity to bring online.
As an alternative, many have turned to colocation data centers. Among other factors, leasing—as opposed to building or buying a new data center—reduces upfront costs, the report points out.
Further, when using colocation providers, much of the risk of scaling falls on them, not the enterprises themselves. One of the ways colocation providers can successfully scale faster and more effectively is by utilizing modular design.
“The resulting ability to scale much faster acts as a competitive edge for tenants that value flexibility,” Sabey shared in the report.
The new white paper explores why modular design in the colocation data center makes sense.
“Modular design in the colocation data center makes it possible to quickly, easily and incrementally scale footprint for a tenant.” — Sabey Data Centers
A modularly designed data center must be properly outfitted with power, cooling and networking infrastructure “so as to enable the closest thing to plug-and-play deployments for tenants’ IT equipment as possible,” Sabey pointed out. This is just one among many challenges for most enterprises when it comes to data storage, but often these “challenges are modular colocation data center provider “core competencies.”
So, why modular data centers? They supply built-in cooling and power redundancies to minimize the potential for downtime, and offer what Sabey describes as “concurrent maintainability.” This means the provider’s operations team can perform mechanical or electrical maintenance without disrupting power to the IT load, cooling systems or any other equipment that influences the operational status of servers.
“Concurrent maintainability is a core proficiency of the modular data center—it ensures that rapid scaling never comes at the expense of IT resilience,” the report states.
Modular design also enables providers to deploy high-density racks; or, alternatively, they can scale by deploying more lower-powered servers.
The report also clarifies in detail the difference between modular data centers and containerized data centers. Containerized data centers are are freight containers that have been transformed into shippable, mini-data centers. On the other hand, modular data centers allow for much more customization of the cabinets, floor plans, equipment positioning and other layout elements than a prefabricated container facility.
And in a colocation data center, the colo provider takes on the full responsibility of optimizing the facility’s PUE so that tenants are primarily billed for the electricity powering IT equipment, and not for overhead such as cooling and lighting.
Download the new report from Sabey Data Centers, “Modular Design in the Colocation Data Center,” to further explore how a modular data center design can provide the on-demand scaling capabilities enterprises want with the control, reliability and cost-effectiveness they need.