Containerized datacenters raise their profile

Containerized datacenters raise their profile

Summary: With mainstream users buying into the containerized datacenter model, the market gets a shot in the arm


A couple of months back I posed the question asking if the datacenter container was dead end technology. While the question passed without much comment here, it generated a lot of discussion among folks who are in the business. One of the points that I've made in the past also worked its way to the top; businesses that are implementing containerized options don't really talk about it to the public.

When I meet with container vendors, that's the biggest hole in their product pitch; they've got product, they have success stories, and they have no leeway to talk about their successful implementations because their customers play it very close to the vest. While the industry doesn't have a big "me too" component too, the lack of identifiable customers can be a hindrance to acceptance.

Active Power, the manufacturer of the PowerHouse line of modular critical infrastructure systems, announced two major sales. The first sale, to the military, fits the standard accepted model of who is the target customer for modular datacenter systems. The containerized power, UPS, switching and monitoring gear in an easily deployable model fits the needs of the military and is what most people think of when they consider the containerized market.

The second is a bit more interesting, while it's for two containerized power systems (diesel generator, UPS, switching, monitoring and controls software) Active Power has acknowledged that the order is for a major telco firm that is building containerized datacenters. According to Active Power the containers will be part of a containerized datacenter that the telco is using to offer managed hosting services to a variety of organizations.

This second sale is the type that will drive the growth of the containerized and modular datacenter market. Rapid deployment of profit center services becomes a compelling argument for the modular model.

Topics: Data Centers, Hardware, Storage

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  • RE: Containerized datacenters raise their profile

    • RE: Containerized datacenters raise their profile

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  • Under water datacenter containers

    I wondered whether containerized datacenters could be put under water, in rivers and the sea. Cooling ought to be easier, and real estate would be cheaper for large cities with rivers or near the sea. You'd need some kind of ship to raise and lower them for servicing, but I'm sure something could be figured out!
    • RE: Containerized datacenters raise their profile

      @pjcordell - Too much risk. Data centers often want to get above the first floor if there is any possibility of flooding.

      If you want to save on cooling, why not put them on terra firma at higher altitudes?

      Is the heat and pollution above the sea any more damaging than heat and pollution below the sea?
      • Water is a much better conductor than air

        @pwatson Especially at high altitudes. But the lack of access and the need to make it very air and water tight, run long power cables probably makes that concept a little too expensive
  • RE: Containerized datacenters raise their profile

    I'd really like to see the real all-inclusive cost of purchasing, setting-up and operating a containerized set up. Is there really an advantage other than timing? Shouldn't business be forward thinking enough to know 6 to 9 months in advance they'll need computer power?