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.