Every once in a while a product comes along that breaks through industry standards. In toys, for example, it’s not the usual suspects like Barbie or Monopoly – the biggest seller was Rubik’s Cube with 350 million units in just a few years. In the data center industry, it’s micro data centers.
Hundreds of millions of units is a stretch for now, but these new solutions are creating a buzz and there is speculation that they will be widely deployed.
Micro data centers are contained, secure computing environments from 1 to 100 kW. They ship in one enclosure and include all necessary power, cooling, security and associated data center infrastructure management tools (DCIM). They also include all the storage, processing and networking necessary to run applications.
Another advantage — micro data centers are assembled and tested in a factory environment. This is, in part, because of their physical size, as virtualized IT equipment in cloud architecture that used to require 10 IT racks can now fit into one.
Servers, storage and networking equipment are also being integrated with software for more of an out of the box experience. This all reduces latency, helping to meet business or critical needs and speeds deployment for competitive edge and security. In many cases, micro data centers can utilize “sunk costs” in facility power (switchgear) and cooling (chillers or DX) to be more cap-ex friendly as well.
Micro data centers are ideal for colocation and can sit at the edge of network infrastructures. Use cases will be particularly relevant in manufacturing and retail, and in enterprise and industrial settings.
A Rubik’s cube has 43 quintillion different possible configurations and it would take 1400 trillions of years to go through them all. Data centers have fewer, but untold structure possibilities as well, and businesses must meet demands as quickly as possible. With seemingly endless possibilities, micro data centers are the Rubik’s cube of our industry.
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