New Data Center Trends

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Recently (just as far back as a few years ago), the design of data centers has shifted from the original thought of creating big buildings that cover a great area that is IT ready to a time where ideas that are based on components and are not very big are what everyone is seeking. Many different choices from vendors have been presented, and the two current styles available are container-based buildings that are built in advance or modular component-based (buildings built on location). When learning about data centers, it is essential to at first know what they are.

Definition of Data-Based Containers

A data center container is a shipping container that is created to properly store IT equipment. A run-of-the-mill data center container is based on ISO standards to make shipping them a simple process. They also may be changed in a lot of ways to be able to better support the secure and practical use of IT equipment. The basic equipment that the majority of these are made to support consists of servers, storage, and networking gear. Also, containers can be designed to a mixture of an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), generators, and/or chillers. Also,some of that equipment can be supported in the same containers as the servers and storage equipment or in separate and unique containers. Typically, data center containers have some connectivity elements, so that power input, cooling capabilities (like water pipes), and network traffic can be fed into the container from the outside.

These containers are made to withstand whatever the weather may send their way, and, in some cases, are weather hardened to be used in very extreme environments. However, the majority of people that have these buildings see them being implemented within buildings or shells of buildings that are already in place.

Meaning of Modular or Component-Based Data Centers

Modular data centers came from the basic premise of containers, that, if they are planned out carefully, extreme levels of performance can be obtained in data centers using the same design plan. Capital costs can also be lowered by utilizing a standard components, construction, and the supply chain. The modular design approach has actually gone into two different ways over the years. Some vendors prefer the overall design of a complete data center solution, others have moved on to the modular concept design.

With the modular concept design, a core infrastructure design is developed that, at some point in the future, will support a lot of IT areas. The IT areas can be added when necessary to support growth in the future, until the base power requirements are exceeded. After that takes place, then the base module can be upgraded or another modular unit can take its place. Also, when using this design, vendors have started to focus on self-contained row or rack solutions where a unit that is set in advance is delivered on-site and is already configured for power and cooling support.