Data center infrastructure has evolved far beyond a centralized solution. Now, with cloud computing, more data demands, and distributed environments, there is a greater than ever need for agility. In creating a more flexible data center solution, organizations are seeing the direct benefits in working with modular designs.
A modular solution takes the best ideas for design, reliability, and efficiency and packages everything into a prefabricated, repeatable, and operationally optimized module. Now data centers can grow and expand while using efficient modular technologies.
Here, we will explore the modular product and provider markets, as well as the benefits that a modular approach can provide any company looking to align their IT infrastructure with the needs of an evolving business environment.
Modular Data Center Design Landscape
The design landscape of the traditional data center has truly shifted. In looking at previous designs, the architectural, mechanical and electrical schematics for data centers have typically been an open book. Data center engineers were tasked with designing environments which were capable of supporting business needs both now, and in the future. There was a true drive to anticipate what requirements will be for the next 10 to 15 years.
Fast forward, and we have a data center environment which is forced to work with cloud computing, big data, and serious user distribution. A 2012 Uptime Institute survey asked people if their organization has deployed or considered moving to a private cloud. How did the participants respond?
Almost 50% said that they have already deployed a cloud solution and another 37% were looking into the solution this year. Combine those two together, and there is the potential to see numerous data center environments adopting the cloud computing architecture.
When looking at cloud computing, the modular approach to data centers addresses many of the same concerns and offers similar benefits.
Build Vs. Buy Design
A modular data center also factors into both sides of the traditional "build vs. buy" equation. When deciding to build, the modular data center approach and products have tremendous benefits for making the ownership of a data center very attractive. There are also many providers that offer a modular data center approach for their customers, taking advantage of modular while not having to commit the capital.
In turn, this translates to a truly agile data center environment which is capable of scale. As the organization moves to adopt more cloud-based distributed technologies — a modular architecture can be there to immediately support additional workload and business demands.