November 17, 2011, 10:32 PM — Want to build your new data center faster, better and cheaper? Try containerized, modular data centers, says The Green Grid (TGG), a group dedicated to advancing resource efficiency in data centers and business computing systems.
The Green Grid, which introduced its Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) metric last year, just released a report on using containerized and modular data centers (you can download the full report here). The report, authored and edited by member companies of The Green Grid, points to the increased use of containerized and modular systems and how this trend is resulting in a faster deployment, lower operating and capital costs, and the potential for higher density and energy savings. The report also delves into the various aspects an organization should consider during the planning, design, deployment, operations, and decommissioning phases of their data center facility lifecycle.
I’ve covered modular data centers in this blog already. You can read here about Orion, a New Zealand utility whose data center was damaged by the deadly earthquake in that country last February, a magnitude 6.3 quake that left 181 people dead and billions of dollars in damage. The company turned to a modular data center system to replace what it lost.
These modular systems are typically data centers packaged together in portable, standard forms and include server racks, power and cooling units, redundant power supply hooks and even networking gear. Generally speaking, a modular data center can be fully functional yet built in a pod-like form, transported to any location and set up in weeks or even days, and can be built to meet the specific requirements and support multiple technology vendors and multiple systems in an industry standard rack environment. Should additional capacity be required in the future, more of the pod-like containers can be added.
TGG’s report adds that a containerized or modular data center facility separates some or all of the core facility areas of a traditional data center into discrete, prefabricated components that are assembled at the target location, and not that the modular center is a “set of one or more prefabricated and pre-engineered metal buildings (PMBs), along with any optional and required building infrastructure equipment (which may or may not be PMBs).”