The mod pod
For several years now, a growing number of vendors, like HP and Microsoft have been offering ready-to-compute data center modules that not only include compute, storage, but also cooling gear -- just plop (well, put gently) into place, and connect up power, connectivity, and whatever cooling is needed.
[ See also: Make mine modular: The rise of prefab data centers ]
Some don't even need a proper data center to house them in.
And it's not just vendors, either; hosting providers like i/o Data Center not only use their own modules, but also offer them directly to customers who might not be availing themselves of i/o's facilities.
For example, HP offers its Performance Optimized Datacenter 240a, a.k.a. "the HP EcoPOD." Amazon has its own Perdix container, and Microsoft offers its Data Center ITPAC (IT Pre-Assembled Components).
HP's EcoPOD uses free-air and DX (direct-expansion) cooling, without needing any chilled water. "Just add power and networking -- in any environment," says to John Gromala, director of product marketing, Modular Systems, Industry Standard Servers and Software, HP. According to Gromala, "the EcoPOD optimizes efficiency achieving near-perfect Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) between 1.05 to 1.30 (depending on ambient conditions)." And, says Gromala, "because EcoPODs are freestanding, they can be deployed in as quickly as three months. Customers are putting EcoPODs behind their existing facilities, inside warehouses or on roofs."