Modular data centers are known for their more predictable installation and cost-efficient construction process. These advantages have attracted a number of different organizations to select this type of data center design for their facilities. Recent industry research highlighted the increased benefits that come with investing in a structure of this kind.
Modular Market Forecast
According to a recent MarketsandMarkets report, the modular data center market will hit $40.41 billion by 2018. This will represent a compound annual growth rate of 37.41 percent from 2013 to 2018. The report stated that as customers become more aware of the benefits of such a facility design, there will be significant industry growth in the next three to five years.
Types of Modular Data Centers
Although modular data centers are characterized by their unique design, there are different types of these structures. Clients can opt to have a modular data center, including all the components like space for IT equipment and a total infrastructure, shipped to the site in one complete piece. In such cases, the data center design in created with international size requirements in mind for intermodal shipping containers so that the entire arrangement is able to travel to the desired location.
Another type of modular data center calls for the individual components to be constructed offsite and shipped separately to the site, where it is constructed. The third main style of modular data center design involves factory assemblage of IT cabinets and other infrastructure equipment and subsequent installation into an existing structure.
However customers decide to go about having their modular data center built, the end result is typically the same – clients reap the benefits of having a flexible structure that was easily constructed and boasts a low PUE (power utilization effectiveness) rating for electricity consumption.
More Cost Effective
In addition to drawing less energy from the local power grid, modular data centers are also more cost-effective to build. Recent industry research from DCD Intelligence showed that deployment of a modular data center can cost around 14 percent less than a traditional structure. The study also stated that this figure demonstrates that the data center industry could be spending an unnecessary amount on building brick-and-mortar facilities when companies could opt for a modular data center design instead.
The study also reported that the PUE of this type of facility is usually significantly less than that of traditional data centers. Because modular structures utilize the internal space in a more strategic, productive manner, these facilities have greater densities than other structures, allowing for a lower PUE.
While modular data centers can lessen the building cost and facility PUE, DCD Intelligence lead analyst Chris Drake said the savings experienced by the client will depend on the type of modular data center design chosen and what operators demand of the facility.
“It is important to recognize that there are a vast number of modular products available, not all of which offer the same standards and certifications and levels of support to end users,” Drake said.