Micro Data Centers: An Innovative Case of Data Center Design and Operations

The most dangerous phrase in our industry is, “we’ve always done it this way,” and as such, we make it our initiative at Schneider Electric to expel the culture of convention from everything we do.  Realizing this, and with the need to balance control and flexibility, DartPoints embraced a partnership with Schneider Electric that allows them to have both.  They call their unique category of forward-thinking colocation data centers and services the DartPoints Private Colo™.

Colocation Micro Data Centers

“We’re building micro data centers that are built in 100kW chunks so we can expand and contract with customer demand,” DartPoints CEO, Hugh Carspecken explains.


There’s a lot of buzz around mega data centers these days, but the idea employed here is to create a modular and scalable design that will make colocation more accessible, private, and local for small and medium businesses.  By using pre-configured micro data center pods, we were confident that DartPoints would be able to easily replicate this design, capable of going live in as little as 45 days, anywhere across the United States.


Ultimately, the DartPoints vision is for all of the micro sites to function together as a single distributed data center network.  In order to do this, DartPoints leverages Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare™ for Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM).  StruxureWare™ allows DartPoints to manage each individual site as a single, larger data center which enables DartPoints to plan at a macro level.  This, in turn, allows DartPoints to identify areas needing improvement, opportunities for growth, and most importantly, ensure high availability.


In order to improve the overall cooling predictability within each site, DartPoints also deploys Schneider Electric’s InRow RC cooling, which significantly improves cooling efficiency by reducing power consumption while also increasing capacity and offering the ability to support higher rack density.  The high temperature model, designed for optimal heat removal, leverages warmer water temperatures and outdoor ambient air temperatures to increase chiller efficiency, thus maximizing the hours of economization.  We knew this would allow DartPoints to maintain low operating expenses and maximize energy efficiency even before a pod is loaded to full capacity.


To accompany and enhance the InRow RC cooling, each pod also includes a hot aisle containment system.  Our hot-aisle containment system (HACS) fully encloses the hot aisle to collect the IT equipment’s hot exhaust air, allowing the rest of the data center to become a large cold-air return chamber.  The benefits of the HACS include a more comfortable work environment in the data center, maximized efficiency as it pertains to cooling, and savings in operational expenditure.




At the heart of the DartPoints system is the Schneider Electric Symmetra PX250 UPS, an innovative, modular, scalable fault tolerant architecture offering high efficiency, performance and availability.  The modular nature of the PX250 and its unique ability to scale in 25kW increments combine with the PX’s resilient and robust design to offer Dartpoints the “On Demand” ability to accommodate client growth while at the same time maximizing availability, reliability and efficiency and minimizing risk.  This unique feature set allows Dartpoints to deploy the system very quickly, sculpt Day 1 capacity to match load, preserving cash and minimizing operating expenses without sacrificing the availability or reliability of the overall system.


Through our collaboration, DartPoints is now able to meet their micro data center needs, and is prepared to launch their newest addition to the network in Fort Worth, Texas, on August 7th.   The Fort Worth data center opening event will include a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Mayor Betsy Price, along with a reception and a tour of the new micro data center.

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