Why a modular data centre is your flexible friend

Certainly, when it comes to data centres, spending significant sums of money on technology that might never be used is, at best, misguided and, at worst, commercially unviable.


Based on the hope that a facility will be “grown into”, too many organisations are falling foul of this line of thinking at a time when dense computing means that an increasing number of data centres are in fact shrinking in size. Those that have made this mistake have also found that downsizing a data centre is just as expensive as adding more capacity. Power and cooling systems still need to be maintained even if they are not being used, and redundant space should be partitioned off to reduce waste, leading to refurbishment costs.

Cannon2These factors and others have contributed to the popularity of the modular data centre, and it is a sector that companies and market research estimates will be worth $40.4billion by 2018.

The modular data centre goes back to 2006, when a 20-foot standard shipping container was used and the company built in all the racks, cabling and equipment required for it to become a data centre, so that all it needed to function was external power, chiller units and a network link.

The idea caught on and, rather than size being considered a restriction, it was turned into an advantage, as units were introduced that could simply be bolted together and even stacked on top of each other to create a larger facility.

The drivers for adopting the modular approach tend to vary between organisations, but the most common is cost. Coming in at a fraction of the price of a traditional data centre, there are the additional advantages of no planning permission, no building costs, no need to acquire an existing facility, no decommissioning or reconfiguration costs as the business demand changes, and no business rates on the use of a building. Speed is also a key factor, as a modular data centre can be designed, built and installed just weeks from the order being placed, and companies can quickly downsize or move from older and larger systems to smaller and more efficient ones.

As the international leader in innovative containment systems, Cannon Technologies has led the way in the provision of modular data centres, and we offer a range of options under our award-winning T4 Modular Data Centre range. Our solutions are built to suit the specific needs of our customers and can be deployed almost anywhere, from underground car parks and hangars to warehouses and even roofs and areas with significant seismic activity.

Scaled to suit almost any requirement and available in a multitude of configurations, the use of cutting-edge technology, standard components and no wet trades means they can be manually assembled on-site using hand tools, therefore negating the use of machinery and vastly reducing levels of dust, noise and disruption.

Modular data centres enable investors to limit significant up front expenditure by aligning investment with need and available space. This removes the financially damaging implications of expensively equipped but underused data centre space – a scenario that should always be avoided.

Matt Goulding is managing director of Cannon Technologies
+44 (0)1425 638148


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