Technology Convergence Conference and Data Center Modularity

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We are very excited to announce that this week we will be in sunny Santa Clara, California for the Technology Convergence Conference (TCC)! Among many of the other great speakers that will be at this event, our very own Donald Mitchell will be there discussing modularity in the data center. As a little sneak peak, Donald has written up an intro to his speaking opportunity below…


Contributions by Donald Mitchell, Enterprise Systems Engineer Schneider Electric

Discussions around Modular and Container approaches to data centers  continue to grow as does the confusion and ambiguity.   One of the largest areas of confusion seen noted in recent blogs and professional discussions is differentiating between ‘modularity’ and ‘containers’.

“Modular” is concept, “containers” are products….

Modular concepts can be applied to small server rooms and large data centers.   A decade ago, APC introduced InfraStruxure, which is a unique approach to modular server room design. It integrated disparate data center physical infrastructure components into a modular design that could adapt to changing needs for capacity, density, and availability.  Over the years, the server room concept has grown, and modular designs for entire data center facilities are becoming common discussions. This link shows a video of our 20 MW Modular Data Center Design:

‘Container’, on the other hand, is a much more specific term which is constrained by ISO standards. Generally this specification references a specific product in a specific category.  While there have been containers housing complete data center functions (for example, APC launched ISX Express back in 2004), the more popular recent approach is to create containers with specific functions in a manner to support modular design concepts with “ready to run” building blocks of power, cooling, or servers/IT components.  When container products match the growth plans of a data center, containers can offer significant advantages in time and cost.   Deploying cooling plants in container based modules makes a lot of sense as cooling plants are often external to the data center.  High efficiency Chill Water and Air /Evaporator based cooling modules are available to support a variety of growth plans.

These topics will be discussed in at the TCC. If you are interested in gaining more insight before the conference I recommend checking out white paper 163 for Data Center Containers, white paper 143 for data center growth planning and white paper 136 on High Efficiency Economizer-based Cooling Modules.

There is also a handy tool to contrast the benefits of modular data centers with traditional construction called the Data Center Planning Calculator.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference and discussing these concept with other industry experts.

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