Modular data centers offer alternative to traditional facilities.

More companies are turning to modular data centers as solutions for affordable, easily expandable compute capacity.

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The modular data center will support Logicalis enterprise cloud computing solutions and is housed at i/o Phoenix, i/o Anywhere’s 538,000 square foot data center facility. i/o Anywhere builds the custom, modular data centers to customers’ requirements in its factory in Phoenix and then transports the containers to one of its data centers facilities The vendor operates another similar facility that is 125,000 square feet in Scottsdale, Ariz. In March, i/o Anwyhere announced plans to transform a former New York Times printing plant in New Jersey into what it claims is the world’s largest modular data center – an 830,000 square foot building. The i/o New Jersey will serve as the company’s East Coast hub, is located next to a large power switching station, and has in-place fiber optic connectivity. i/o Anywhere has also announced plans for a site in Singapore.

Other companies have also joined in. Last year, Capgemini opened its Merlin data center near London to showcase green design; the data center consists of 250-square-meter prefabricated modules assembled on site (the modules could be installed inside any building large enough for the crane to enter, or just added to concrete slabs; no building is necessary for their protection).

Modular data centers have advanced from the earlier versions that consisted of more inflexible containers and weak infrastructure. But now the container technologies and forms have advanced, as has the infrastructure, and there’s a growing number of pre-fab modular designs hitting the market. IDC analyst Michelle Bailey says in this ComputerWorld article that within five years modular data centers will practically be the default approach. The market is still small, however. As Bailey estimates, fewer than 100 were sold in 2010 and she predicts that about 145 will be sold this year.

I’m curious – would any of you consider a modular data center?

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