The Containerized Datacenter; at the end of its 15 minutes?

Was the containerized datacenter a good idea, or just an evolutionary deadend for the datacenter?

It's looking more and more like the containerized datacenter is an idea whose time will never come, instead replaced by the concept of the modular datacenter. While the container idea isn't quite dead yet, the modular datacenter concept seems to be winning the battle for hearts and minds.

On the surface, the original container idea looked like a good one. The container model has the advantage of using standardized size boxes which the transport industry is already equipped to handle.  Configured in one location, and then shipped by available transport to where needed, the containerized datacenter, with both compute and support containers available, looked like a great idea.

But what seemed to happen was that while consumers liked the concept, what it seems that they really want are preconfigured datacenter modules. The complete contents of datacenter (or a specific subset of the datacenter) delivered in a form that could allow it to be deployed within the confines of existing facilities, not a big metal box to install outside the building. Flexibility is the key to successful products, and sticking to the standardized container model has proven to be a bit stultifying to the vendors who are looking to move their datacenter hardware into a broad range of business environments

The kicker is really this; there is no reason that many of the modular datacenter offerings that are starting to appear can't be delivered in container form. But they don't have to be. And many of the vendors offering modular options do have containerized systems already available. So the container; rather than being the centerpiece is simply another modular datacenter delivery option.

We all know that some kids liked to play with the box that the toys came in and that this is an expression of the imagination of children. With the containerized datacenter market, it is literally an issue of thinking outside the box.


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