An illustration of one of the new Colt modular data center designs, which offer additional configuration options.

Colt Adds Flexibility to Its Modular Designs

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An illustration of one of the new Colt modular data center designs, which offer additional configuration options.

Modular data center designs continue to evolve. UK telecom and managed hosting provider Colt has introduced a refined version of its modular data center that offers a greater variety of sizes and configurations. The design uses pre-assembled components that are built in factories, but can then be assembled into data centers on-site.

Colt’s latest “sectional” design offers users more options in combining the modules to create data centers with desired power density, size and Tier configurations. The new designs, introduced today at DataCentres Europe 2011 in France, go beyond the original Colt offering last year, which created a facility sized at 500 square metres (5,400 square feet). The new module form factors allow customers to create data halls of 125, 250 and 375 square meters, and gradually scale their facilities in increments by latching on additional modules. It also allows for a range of power densities of between 750 watts to 3 kilowatts per square meter (about 275 watts a square foot) and anywhere from Tier I to Tier IV on the Uptime Institute’s tier classficiation.

‘Tremendous Interest’ in Flexible Designs

Colt says the design refinements were in direct response to customer demand.

“This increased choice in floor space and power provides customers with a data centre that fits into any building for any type of application,” explains Bernard Geoghegan, Executive Vice President of Colt Data Centre Services. “We have had tremendous interest from a number of customers across a variety of industries including financial services, retail and logistics, all looking for a customised, flexible, low risk solution that is not only efficient but quick to deploy.”

The Colt offerings are only available in Europe. But the evolution of the design concepts chart a course that will likely be repeated in the U.S. market, where a growing number of companies have launched modular products and are competing for business in this emerging market.

“We have made hundreds of improvements since we originally launched our Modular Data Centre design,” said Guy Ruddock, Vice President of Operations, Colt Data Centre Services. “Each customer benefits from this knowledge gained from a relentless continuous improvement program.”

The result? Colt says it now offers more than 120 different design variations, all of which can be delivered in approximately four months. Here’s a video overview of the new design approach, providing a look at how the components are arranged and fit tgoether:

In this video, Ruddock discusses Colt’s perspective on the modular market, and how it is seeking to differentiate its modular offering from competing products.

For more on modular design, see our channels for Modular Data Centers and Data Center Design.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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