How Much Do You Know About Modular Data Center?
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How Much Do You Know About Modular Data Center?

Posted on by FS.COM

Recently, the big movie “James Bond – Spectre” is being shown in China. In the film, a catastrophic explosion of data center earns Guinness World Record and attracts people’s attentions. Actually, thanks to the Hollywood movies (classic topics like hackers, spies etc.), data center have gradually access to people’s sights in recent years. Our general impression of data centers is big, cool, mysterious, full of racks, servers and cables. Of course, they are also heavily guarded. However, you may never think of that data center may be in a container, i.e., containerized data center, a kind of modular data centers.


Catastrophic Explosion of Data Center in Film James Bond – Spectre

Modular data center, as its name suggests, is a modular, flexible, and certainly more rapidly deployable set of data center infrastructure solution. Next, we are going to talk about modular data center in details.

In order to better understand the modular data center, it is essential to introduce the traditional data center first. Traditional data center facilities are commonly referred to as multi-year, site-constructed, fixed structures and low-density buildings. They are typically custom-designed for the specific site, and all or most of the construction occurs with the use of local trade labor at that site. In addition, they tend to incorporate multiple design methodologies, including both low- and high-efficiency architectures as well as innovative and non-innovative approaches to power, cooling, and other systems within the facility. Thus, in the past, building a new data center is extremely expensive and time-consuming.

In contrast, modular data center is more flexible and cost-effective as they can achieve a faster deployment, lower operating and capital costs, and the potential to be equipped with higher density and energy-savings targets. Unlike traditional data center, modular data center is not set in a fixed place but can be shipped to anywhere data capacity is needed which ensures customers to add, integrate or retrofit the existing data center footprint and greatly increases the flexibility of data center system. Generally, a modular data center system consists of some standardized components to make them easier and cheaper to build. In addition, by adding purpose-engineered modules and components, it can achieve scalable data center capacity with multiple power and cooling options. Thus, modular data center is more convenient for operators to adjust the capacity of their data center and enables data center upgrade become more easier and efficient.

At present, there are two common form factors of modular data centers. The containerized data center that we mentioned in the beginning is the most common type now. Containerized data centers are complete modular data center which are designed in a shipping container, containing the data center equipment such as servers, networking equipment, storage facilities and rack and frames etc. Additionally, they typically come outfitted with their own cooling systems. With the portable container design, a containerized data center is a moving data center as it can be transported to any desired location according to the requirements.


Containerized Data Centers

The other type of modular data center is prefabricated modular data centers, also called individual module. Individual components designed and assembled in a modular form, and shipped to the site for assembly into a complete data center with infrastructure and IT computer room space, such as IT module, power module, cooling module and generator module and so on. The picture below shows us the IT module and cooling module.


Prefabricated Modular Data Centers / Individual Module

Modular data centers are with a lot of advantages over traditional data center in cost and time saving. But as a saying goes, every coin has two sides. Modular data centers are no exception. There are some disadvantages of modular data centers, e.g., modular data center has poor durability and limited space. In addition, the usage of modular data center is limited because many modular data center products can only use the hardware or solutions of specific vendors. Furthermore, compared to the traditional data center, there is higher risk of modular data center. In a word, modular data center is an alternative data center design which meet the demands of organizations who typically have projects that require flexibility, maximum clear height, non-standard types of IT equipment, air side economization, low PUE (power utilization effectiveness), and other desirable features. Thus, when you plan to build a data center, you should consider what you really need and choose the right one for your projects.

No matter which type of data center is, fiber optic components like fiber optic transceiver module and patch cables are required for transmission. Fiberstore offers a variety of fiber optic components which will bring you high performance and help you save more time and cost.

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