Transition Into Modular Data Center

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Modular Data Center

Aspects That Are Changing the Game

Although the need for more physical data centers is growing, there are fewer resources available to build new data centers.
  • Aging Population
The U.S. population is aging, which means there are fewer construction workers entering the workforce. Americans aged 65 or older are expected to grow to about 1 billion in 2030. This number is anticipated to rise even higher by 2060, accounting for 1.6 billion people or 17 percent of the total population. However, the population under the age of 20 is having a flat growth, and the working-age population 20 to 64 only has a moderate growth over the same period.
  • Lack of Skilled Workers
Construction prices are rising and the time to completion is increasing due to a countrywide scarcity of trained workers. Construction workers are currently on average 42.6 years old, indicating that the present labor pool is aging out. At the same time, 3% of employees entering the market, 18 to 25 years old, have indicated an interest in construction employment. This implies that the labor shortage will persist for the foreseeable future. While data center capacity is anticipated to quadruple between 2015 and 2021. Due to labor shortages, modular data centers are becoming popular because they arrive pre-assembled.
Aside from labor shortage, people with the specialized skills for data center construction are even more limited. Hyperscale data centers ranging from 40,000 to 250,000 square feet are in high demand. This commands the high rents and drawing the finest possible staff. In reality, the vast majority of data centers are being built for major internet corporations like Apple, Google, and Amazon. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft each had nine of the top ten largest building projects in 2018. Skilled data center employees are looking for high-paying mega-contracts. Thus, resulting in fewer skilled data center employees.
  • Regulatory Requirements
As data center developers strive to enhance, PUE is becoming more important. More data center designs are aiming for LEED certifications. This certification proves the infrastructure’s energy efficiency. All the while servers and computers are becoming more heat resistant and require less cooling. Developers are always battling to fulfill environmental standards while increasing the power of data centers.
  • Real Estate Prices are Increasing
Datacenter REITs are bidding for facilities to accommodate cloud services and colocation providers. For example, Northern Virginia contains over 100 data centers and 50 million square feet of space. Due to its ability to handle massive cloud services, Northern Virginia has grown dense in data center capacity. In addition, demand is robust, with just a 4.4 percent vacancy rate in the region as of 2018. The flexibility to expand without incurring more real estate expenses makes modular data center construction appealing in these areas.
  • Demand is Increasing
The rise in data center demand is fueling a race to the bottom. Contractors are searching for methods to save time to complete projects. Chilled water, switchgear, and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems are among them. As well as reducing construction time. Systems are delivered as full equipment, ready to use, with modular data centers. Modular data centers may be built-in two-thirds the time it takes to construct a new data center from the ground up.
These are just a handful of the issues that the data center sector looking to improve. Going modular doesn’t have to mean settling for a one-size-fits-all solution. Modular data centers may be built in a number of configurations and are totally configurable and expandable.

What is a “Modular” Data Center?

Modular data centers can provide the same advantages as traditional data centers. But there are still a lot of misconceptions about them, particularly when it comes to design and installation. People think that modular data centers are limited to pre-configured like ISO shipping containers. They are easy to construct and transport. They are often seen on oil rigs, military facilities, and government sites for agencies to deal with during calamities. But there is not just one sort of modular data center, though. Let’s look at what “modular” means and the many sorts of structures that are accessible.

3 Types of Modular Data Center

  • The ISO Container
These are factory-built and placed in a conventional shipping container. They are usually built outdoors on a concrete pad or foundation. They’re available in two sizes: 20 x 8 feet and 40 × 8 feet, giving them a consistent footprint. They likewise have a standard height. Can be easily customized for a door opening, installation of power supply, and addition of chillers on the outside.
The capacity of this sort of modular data center is generally limited to around 200 to 250 kW for IT rack and 500 kW for power and cooling. The amount of racks it can hold is likewise limited by its size, however, there are several configuration choices to maximize rack space.
They will no longer meet ISO criteria once they have been changed unless they are recertified and built to suitable standards. Failure to comply with the ISO standard might result in problems, such as the inability to stack containers. However, because of their small size, they are simple to carry and install.
  • Skid-Mounted
Skid-mounted systems are on a metal platform and may integrate with the rest of the skid’s equipment with electrical systems. These systems are simple to move and set up on location. Commissioning pre-built skid systems streamlines data center construction since they are utilized as pre-fabricated building pieces. All modifications are performed before shipment on skid-mounted modules. They are also manufactured and tested at the plant. This is done to ensure that the unit arrives ready to install.
Due to data center skids have no standard size, they provide flexibility for expanding. They can be built in a quicker time, and they are usually cheaper and versatile than custom-built enclosures.
  • Enclosure
Enclosures can be self-contained shell or metal housings and come in a variety of sizes. They are provided as pre-configured parts that are coupled with other modules on-site. This saves time and money during construction. They’re also designed to fit within an existing structure or outdoor such as in a parking lot or next to a building. One of the reasons for choosing an enclosed modular data center is to protect the systems from weather or severe circumstances.

2 Types of Modular Data Center Enclosures

      • All-in-One Enclosure
It is popular and includes its own data center gear, such as servers, storage, and networking. It also has its own power and cooling systems. It can also house dry-type fire suppression, biometric locks, or other forms of protection. Thus, making it completely self-contained.
      • Bespoke Enclosure
This type of enclosure separates the IT equipment, power, and cooling components. These bespoke enclosures provide the same benefits as other modular designs. They are also built and tested at the factory, making them cost-effective and easy to commission. However, they have the extra benefit of flexibility, which makes scaling on-demand easier. It is also flexible for installing more storage or servers if needed. Alternatively, as the density of the equipment grows, more power and cooling may be supplied as needed.
Today’s modular data centers are factory-built and tested before installation. They are generally arranged in three ways for shipment and installation:
  1. Fully prefabricated indicates the data center is made up of modular enclosures. This should be tested, including IT, power, and cooling.
  2. Semi-prefabricated is those are manufactured and tested off-site. This is before transporting them for installation in a stick-built data center.
  3. A data center that is self-contained and supplied ready to use is known as an all-in-one. Making the appropriate network and power connections is all that is required.

Modular Data Centers’ Advantages

Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of employing a modular data center. Modular data centers have most of the capabilities of traditional data centers. They also eliminate the problems associated with constructing a stick-built data center.
The following are some of the advantages of the modular data center:
  • Shorter Time to Completion

The time it takes to complete a project is essential since it reflects the time it takes to generate money. Once the requirements of a data center are established, it will rush to finish the structure to generate profit. Most data centers take 18 to 24 months of construction. However, constructing a modular data center can save you up to 30% on construction time. It can also avoid delays caused by bad weather, equipment breakdowns, and other issues.

  • Cost Savings

Modular data centers are 30% less expensive than stick-built data centers. In reality, acquiring a modular data center is like purchasing a piece of custom-built equipment. Because the components needed are known ahead of time. The cost of assembly is fixed, and you just pay one price for the final product. Though modular data center suppliers include installation in their cost estimations. One of the most appealing elements of becoming modular for many businesses is the ability to control expenses.

  • Easier to Install

With the scarcity of construction personnel, modular construction eliminates the need for employees. You won’t have to worry about pulling wire or integrating electrical and mechanical components on-site. The enclosure is done at the factory and assured by established procedures. All work is done to set requirements, and everything is tested before delivery. This not only means a complete plug-and-play data center that is ready to install, but it also means a safer job site.

  • Compact Architecture

Although real estate is expensive, a modular data center requires a modest footprint. The data center may be put up in a parking lot or next to a building if you choose an outdoor installation, and it will take up very little area. This not only gives you more options, but it may also save you money, especially in high-rent areas like New York City or Chicago.

  • Totally Customizable

While the components are pre-assembled, the final design is entirely up to you. You have a variety of alternatives in terms of rack location, power capacity, cooling, and so on, depending on the form factor. Prior to production, all wiring, power, cooling, and other operating parameters are specified. Because you can add more systems and capacity, system expansion is quite simple. You also don’t have to overbuild to handle future expansion, unlike stick-built data centers.

  • Greater Dependability

During the manufacturing and assembly process, every component placed in a modular data center is verified. This indicates there’s a lower chance of failure.

  • Lower PUE

Because of the modular unit’s compact size and the fact that the components are matched, PUE is lower than in brick-and-mortar data centers.

  • Easy to Protect

A modular data center is simpler to secure. Since it is smaller and self-contained, especially if it’s behind a secure barrier with video surveillance.

In a nutshell, modular data centers are appropriate for any application that would benefit from a traditional data center. Modular data centers will continue to prove to be a cost-effective and long-lasting solution as demand for additional data center adaptability grows with the introduction of private and hybrid cloud computing and edge computing.

AKCP Wireless Monitoring Solution

Prefabricated modular data centers are built to suit business-specific requirements and fit in a right-sized secure infrastructure. We can provide complete data center solutions with our diverse product portfolio and established project services.

AKCP solution’s expertise spans sales, from project services, and engineering, to the complexity of creating data centers in its continuously changing needs. AKCP ensures that the monitoring is designed to your exact requirements, with the lowest cost, the most flexibility, and scalability.

Our wireless monitoring solutions integrate power, thermal management, and other environmental solutions, all of which are pre-integrated and calibrated, minimizing deployment time and on-site work. Future-proof your data center with the support of the industry leaders.

With the wide range of wireless environmental sensors on the market. Most are not for modular data centers. AKCP has over 30 years of experience in providing professional sensor solutions. They took on the challenge of developing wireless environmental sensors that were tailored specifically for monitoring critical infrastructure. They have brought to market the world’s first LoRa based monitoring system with features specifically for the data center. The Wireless Tunnel is a holistic approach to wireless sensor monitoring. It comprises of:

  • Wireless Tunnel Sensors
  • Wireless Tunnel Gateway-Server
    Wireless Thermal Maps

    Wireless Thermal Maps

  • AKCPro Server

Wireless Sensors

Wireless Thermal Maps give temperature and humidity values for the front and rear, top-middle-bottom of the server cabinet as well as the front to rear differential temperature readings (ΔT).

Wireless Cabinet Analysis Sensor combines cabinet thermal maps with front and rear differential air pressure (ΔP), suitable for data centers using hot and cold aisle containment. All of these environmental sensors and more are available as part of the Wireless Tunnel system.

Wireless Tunnel Gateway

The sensors require a gateway to communicate with. The Wireless Tunnel Gateway collects and stores data from up to 30 environmental sensors. In small installations, the Gateway is used as a standalone monitoring system without the need for a cloud server or internet connection. The embedded user interface of the server provides customizable desktops, mapping, and graphing. Alerts are sent via SMS, E-mail, and SNMP Traps.

AKCPro Server

For larger installations with multiple gateways, a centralized monitoring platform is used to combine the data from all gateways. The Wireless Tunnel Server is a central management platform, AKCPro Server. The server software can be run in-house on your own server or hosted in the cloud. It is a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) platform with close integration to AKCP environmental sensors.

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