March 3, 2015

In last week's blog, "Combining cloud and colo for agility," I observed that a common requirement we hear about from our clients is the need for more agile, scalable data centre solutions, and how a combination of cloud and colo can lead to greater agility.

The need for agility is also leading to increased interest in modular and agile data centre solutions.

A modular data centre is a facility built based on the principles of "just-in-time" manufacturing. Electrical and cooling components can be tailored to specifications, then assembled, tested, and transported on skids from offsite factories.

These prefabrications can then be lifted and installed quickly as demand dictates – often in less than a day – since they are already extensively prewired.

A Digital Realty modular data centre transits the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. Digital Realty corporate headquarters is at Four Embarcadero, the building in the centre of the preview image.

In addition to rapid assembly, and more easily configurable solutions, modular data centres offer strategic benefits such as:

  • Modular components: Modular data centre components may be individually commissioned, allowing for higher quality and better performance.
  • Multi-tiering: The flexible design of modular data centres means that it's straightforward to set up different tiers with varying levels of availability.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Rather than sink millions all at once into a data centre, businesses looking to control costs can spend incrementally and upgrade the modular data centre only as needed.

The modular data centre market was estimated at roughly $6.5 billion in 2014, according to MarketsandMarkets. By 2019, it could top $26 billion, with particularly strong growth in North America and Europe.

Ping me on Twitter or via our Contact Us page if you’d like to learn more about Digital Realty’s modular solutions.

KC Mares, Digital Realty Product Strategist (@kcmares)

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