About the prospects of pre-assembled data centers

    Likbez: what are pre-assembled solutions for data centers, what are their advantages and why are they gaining popularity.

    Big data, cloud computing, the Internet of things have become familiar technologies. The need for continuous processing of huge volumes of information encourages more to invest in the creation of data processing centers (DPCs) and expand the range of services they provide.

    According to the Synergy Research Group, in 2018 the number of large data centers in the world increased by 11% compared with the level of 2017. Over the past year, the largest number of new data centers have appeared in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and EMEA. But the leader is still the United States, where about 40% of large centers operate.

    Distribution of large data centers in the world

    Why changes are ripe, or What's wrong with traditional data centers

    A natural reaction to the growth in data volume is to accelerate the construction of new data centers and improve the quality of services provided. But traditional data centers are already struggling to cope with the ever-growing demands of our time.

    • Long construction and lack of flexibility. The construction of a traditional data center takes 1–1.5 years, and if changes are made to the project in the process, the construction can be delayed. As a result, the data center starts to make a profit late, during this time the market takes a big step forward and there is no need to talk about competitiveness. It is very difficult to build up the capacity of such a data center to keep up with the growing needs of the market.
    • It is difficult to increase the power density. In the era of big data, the volumes of transmitted data are growing exponentially, and these are not just symbols and words, but graphic, audio and video files. In the near future, a smart car will generate up to 4 TB of data per day, and a smart plant - up to 1 PB. This suggests that the data density in the data center needs to be increased. But when using cold aisles or RoomCool cooling systems, this is quite difficult.
    • High investment. Already at the start of the construction of the data center, large investments are required. In the future, incomplete loading of the data center reduces efficiency with consistently high power consumption. Construction and maintenance costs and indirect losses due to late commissioning significantly increase the total cost of ownership.
    • Complexity of management. Datacenter maintenance is difficult due to incompatible interfaces and protocols when using equipment from different manufacturers.

    The described shortcomings became the basis for a review of the data center infrastructure and an impetus for the creation of pre-assembled modular centers.

    What are pre-assembled data centers and what are their advantages

    The pre-assembled data center is a modular center, the infrastructure elements of which are created in the factory and are quickly mounted on site. The main advantages are standardization and a high level of integration. The data center consists of independent modules with the required functionality, and these modules are compatible and interchangeable.

    A typical example of a pre-assembled solution is a container data center , the infrastructure of which is placed in a standard transport container of 20 or 40 feet. Such a data center is quickly mounted and, if necessary, can be easily transferred to another place. This is a convenient solution for military bases, sea vessels, mining facilities, seismically active zones. Container data centers are 6 times more productive than traditional ones, and their construction costs 2 times cheaper.

    Modular data centers are a type of container, but they are installed indoors. They retain all the benefits, but do not have a container shell.

    Container and modular data centers are typical, but not the only types of pre-assembled solutions. This group also includes other complexes with a pre-configured infrastructure. The advantages of such solutions are undeniable:

    • Simplicity of design and space saving. Traditional data centers are divided into functional zones. In preassembled server blocks, power and cooling systems are located within the same module. These data centers take up less space and are easier to maintain.
    • Serial production is a guarantee of quality. The entire infrastructure of the pre-assembled data centers and all connecting terminals are produced in factories with a strict quality control system, which ensures their reliable operation.
    • Quick installation. The modules are installed on site in strict accordance with the standard installation procedure. This allows you to reduce the cost of work and staff qualification requirements. Installation of a pre-assembled data center requires only 1-2 months.
    • Flexibility and the ability to increase power. Modules can be added as needed, increasing the capacity of the data center. No global investment is required at the start, which has a positive effect on operational efficiency.
    • High power density at lower cost. Inter-row conditioning in high-temperature areas and, if necessary, the use of a hot and cold corridor system increase rack cooling performance. Due to this, it is possible to achieve a power density of 20 kW and higher per rack. The result: space savings and lower energy costs.
    • Comprehensive service . Intelligent management system allows administrators to control the work of the data center. The necessary maintenance is carried out by the service department of one manufacturer. Do not have to splurge on a call of specialists from different companies.

    Issue of relevance

    In all countries, the construction of data centers is carried out in priority areas and more and more the choice is limited to pre-assembled solutions. Most of these data centers are implemented by giant companies: Microsoft, IBM, Google.

    Great attention was drawn to the new pre-assembled data center Google, deployed in Oregon. It includes 45 containers of 1160 servers and has a capacity of 100 MW with an energy efficiency ratio (PUE) of not more than 1.25.

    We switched to pre-assembled data centers and Chinese Internet companies such as Alibaba, Tecent, Baidu. Even the very low winter temperatures did not prevent the construction of Alibaba data centers in Zhangbei: two large centers were built in just a year thanks to the choice of a pre-assembled modular solution.

    Modular solutions allow you to create container, small, medium and large data centers for various fields of application: Internet projects, commercial enterprises, telecom stations, military facilities, field development and the oil and gas region, etc.

    The main plus of the Delta data center is a flexible configuration of power systems, economical cooling, and intelligent monitoring and control systems. All these elements and other vital components of the system are assembled on a single platform.

    The relevance of pre-assembled modular data centers is undeniable, since traditional ones can no longer cope with the ever-growing market needs in the era of big data. IT giants are massively switching to modular solutions, and experts predict that in the future the pace of construction of pre-assembled data centers will only increase.

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