For many organizations, capital expenditures have been on hold for quite some time. In some cases, critical data center assets are squeezed into older data centers unable to handle increased power loads of as much as 10 kW per rack. With time of the essence, some data center operators are looking for quick ways to expand capacity without going through the traditional design/build process with significant engineering design costs.

One consideration for going forward is the use of recently available PODs or modular data center solutions. Sometimes called a “data-center-in-a-box”, PODs can reduce the time to prepare for IT deployments.

This issue of the PTS Data Center Solutions e-newsletter focuses on modular data center design and POD solutions. Both the PTS Story, Modularity – The Future of the Data Center and the Solution Showcase focuses upon modular and containerized data center solutions and design concepts.

As always, I welcome your feedback on this issue of our newsletter. Please think of us for your next data center project, whether infrastructure, facility, or IT related.

Pete Sacco

President & Founder

PTS Data Center Solutions, Inc.

Experts For Your Always Available Data Center

PTS Story: Modularity – The Future of the Data Center?
Given the economy, it’s not a surprise many data center operators have held off on upgrades and expansions. Operators are clearly in need of cheaper, faster solutions to replace aging facility infrastructures that are no longer equipped to support increasing power per cabinet requirements, as well as increasing cooling requirements.

An emerging trend in the data center design & build space is the deployment of modular data center elements (PODs). PODs can be standalone containers or designs, which include smaller space allocations with shared facility infrastructure for both the new space, as well as additional spaces as the need arises down the road.

With modular data center design and containerized or modular data center solutions, the need to plan expansion for 3+ years out is eliminated and the traditional need to overbuild for growth is no longer required.

Should You Go Modular?

Before adopting the concept of data center modularity, decision makers should carefully assess the advantages and disadvantages of this approach. A major advantage of modular data center design is the environment for the hardware can be addressed incrementally. However, if you are planning to expand again within 12 months, this may not be advantageous.

A modularized data center build-out is akin to constructing the facility with building blocks. Meanwhile, the containerized approach is a “data-center-in-a-box”, a prefabricated, fully installed, pretested, and ready for action data center (other than tying into the backup power and cooling system).

All About Modular Design

For modular designs, the data center itself consists of an IT room and is serviced by facility supporting infrastructure (i.e., UPS, cooling, power distribution) adjacent to the IT computer room. Designers then overbuild the supporting infrastructure room by estimating the expected mid-term growth of the demand.

Containerized Solutions

Rather than designing and building a POD design from scratch, it may make sense to purchase a containerized solution. In doing so, capital and operating costs can be lowered and the deployment time frame can be cut down from one year or more to a few weeks.

Containerized solutions come in various sizes from a number of qualified manufacturers. Check out the Solution Showcase below to learn more about PTS recommended solutions.

Learn more about PTS Conceptual Design Consulting Services

Learn more about PTS Design & Engineering Services

PTS Recommended Containerized Solutions

Read Larry Davis’ Article on Modularity as the Future of the Data Center

Solution Showcase: Modular & Containerized Data Center Solutions
PTS has extensive experience in designing modular and containerized data center solutions to meet unique design criteria and business requirements. PTS understands what problems each of the modular solutions on the market solve and how scalable solutions are best applied with your power & cooling plant infrastructure, as well as how to design and engineer supporting infrastructure around a modular or containerized data center roll-out.

PTS recommends various solutions to meet modular, mobile data center or computer room solutions. Each provides specific capabilities to match enterprise requirements.

BladeRoom Modular Data Center Systems

BladeRoom is a highly energy efficient modular data center system, providing a scalable method of quickly developing a data center with an extremely low, proven PUE. Built entirely in the factory and requiring minimal work on site, a BladeRoom Modular Data Center System can be up and running in a fraction of the time it takes for a traditional build.

The BladeRoom System can be rapidly procured, delivered, and operational. It is ideal to create any sized data center and benefits from low operational costs with a highly efficient data center cooling system.

Elliptical Mobile Solutions Micro-Modular Data Centers 

Elliptical Mobile Solutions has pioneered the development of self-contained, high-density, cost-effective, and energy efficient Micro-Modular Data Centers. Built at the rack level with onboard cooling,security, and fire suppression, these data centers fully replicate the functions of a traditional data center without the costly infrastructure, raised floors, big iron, and massive air conditioning units.

The enclosures are vendor neutral with industry standard 19″ racks that can accommodate the world’s most high-tech equipment including: powerful blade or racked servers, networking storage (NAS), storage area networks (SANs), wi-fi, wi-max, 4G wireless and satellite (SATCOM).

Emerson Network Power Smart Solutions Infrastructure Solutions

Until now, balancing data center best practices for capacity, space utilization, availability, and efficiency has been difficult without making sacrifices. That’s why Emerson Network Power developed the Smart Solutions family of data center infrastructure offerings.

Each Smart Solutions offering addresses data center management needs with rapidly deployable solutions that cost-effectively add data center capacity, improve IT control, and increase efficiency to balance the most common data center objectives. These solutions contain the industry’s leading power, cooling, and management systems to achieve efficiency (without compromise) in IT environments of all sizes.

The solutions include the SmartRow, SmartAisle, SmartDesign, and SmartMod solutions.

Firelock Fireproof Modular Vaults

Unlike poured-in-place concrete vaults, Firelock vaults are constructed from individual panels, filled with a heat-resistant ceramic material, and are lightweight, movable, and expandable. When combined with current high density storage systems, Firelock vaults offer extremely high space efficiency and a considerable cost advantage per cubic foot of storage.

Firelock has been in business for over two decades, and during that time has installed over 1,200 vaults around the world. In the United States there are vaults in 44 of the 50 states, as well as Europe, Scandinavia, South America, Africa, Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Because of this broad experience, Firelock knows how to build a vault that will provide clients with maximum protection today and have the flexibility to grow with them over time.

Explore All PTS recommendations for Modular & Containerized Data Center Solutions.

PTS Education & White Papers
Check out the latest white papers and case studies added to our website by signing in or joining our new PTS Media Library! We’re sure there will be some interesting content for your reading pleasure. For up-to-the-minute educational information don’t forget to check out the PTS Blog – Data Center Design, consider joining the LinkedIn Computer Room Design Group, or visit our Data Center Design Channel on YouTube.

Data Center Projects: Growth Model by Schneider Electric 

Data center facilities may very well have a lifetime that spans many generations of IT equipment, especially at the rate today’s technology evolves. This makes capacity planning critical for avoiding unnecessary costs and maximizing the effectiveness of your technology investments – now and in the future. This critical white paper shows how you can formulate an effective growth model and capacity plan for your data center or network room. Download

Making Wireless LANs Work Reliably and Cost-Effectively by Ruckus Wireless

Administrators of enterprise and independent hotspots at hotels, stores, transportation centers, and other public venues are often frustrated by the limitations of wireless consumer products or other enterprise solutions with inadequate support for multimedia. These companies need an affordable, easy-to-use alternative that is still robust and scalable enough to extend the reach of their wireless LANs, support existing and next generation multimedia-rich digital content and services, and provide reliable and predictable wi-fi performance. Download

In the News
Mike Petrino, Vice President for PTS, Selected as a VP for the NY Metro Chapter of AFCOM
September 2013PTS is happy to announce Mike Petrino was selected amongst several candidates to join the board of the NY Metro Chapter of AFCOM. Mike is very active with AFCOM in the New York area as well as at the national level. In the past, he has presented at the Data Center World international conference, which draws thousands of AFCOM members each year.Andrew Graham, Senior Data Center Solutions Professional, Elected to Board of Directors, AFCOM Midlantic Chapter
September 2013PTS is pleased to announce Andrew Graham was elected to the Board of Directors for the Midlantic Chapter of AFCOM. Andrew has been extremely active in this chapter, has spoken at its annual joint event (with NY Metro Chapter) in Atlantic City, as well as participating in other chapter events.

Both Mike and Andrew plan to have active roles in shaping the direction of their respective AFCOM chapters and look forward to providing unique perspectives on the best ways to deliver 24×7 data center operations.