Is Modular Right for Me?


by Dennis Julian, PE, ATD, DCEP

Facility managers & executives should ask these questions about their own facilities and organizational needs before considering a modular data center:

  • Are there any spatial constraints on the site?  A modular data center can take up very little space; modules are typically about the size of a tractor-trailer unit. They can be stacked and placed next to each other as needed, as opposed to building an entire data center if it is not immediately required.
  • How quickly does the data center need to be built?  Speed of deployment is a major advantage of modular data center design. Less on-site construction is involved and construction time may be as short as a few months, including commissioning, versus a year with a full data center construction project.
  • Is on-site security an issue during construction? The construction of a modular data center cuts back on security risks because the assembly, which happens on site, requires very few people. The reduction in on-site staff is ideal for confidential projects, where security is paramount.
  • How flexible is the modular data center design?  Questions to ask include: How easily can our equipment and operational requirements be implemented? Is different IT equipment required? Do operational procedures need to be changed? How does this integrate with the existing architecture and site?

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