Is Your Long-term Data Center Planning Up in the Air?

As technologies change and business models fluctuate, it is difficult to design, build and deploy traditional data centers. Dave Tanis explains that modular data centers meet many business objectives in an ever-changing data center world.

DCoD(1)I recently attended a data center conference where the keynote speaker from a prominent software provider stated that they disbanded their long-term data center planning team. Their reasoning was that the accelerating rate of change in the industry was too overwhelming, and they had no way to accurately predict what their needs would look like several years from now. He concluded with the statement that the only certainty in making a longer term data center plan is that it would be wrong.

As he left the podium and the next speaker approached the stage, you could see by the expressions across the faces of everyone in the audience that if this well-known industry giant, who should have much better insight into data center trends, has abandoned long term planning, what hope do we have of trying to get it right?

This is one of the biggest challenges in designing traditional brick and mortar data centers. As technologies change, business models fluctuate, and current trends point towards public cloud, it becomes difficult to forecast how much white space will be needed given the planning cycle for a traditional data center of three to five years.

Imagine being several years into this planning process when one of the key stakeholders informs the design team that they have managed to outsource their compute needs to a cloud provider and will no longer need the 100 racks they had originally signed up for during the early design phase. What to do with the excess space when it comes online?

This uncertainty is one of the drivers behind the 30 percent annual growth that modular data centers are forecast to achieve through 2019. By significantly shortening the design/ build/deploy process, modular data center technology can bring the project length back to a timeframe that the data center team has reasonable visibility over, and can truly allow data center resources to be deployed “on demand.”

CommScope’s Data Center on Demand (DCoD) is designed to meet business objectives in this new, highly changing environment. Recent deployments include the University of Montana and CSC in Finland, which are both enjoying the pay-as-you-grow approach that DCoD offers. As seen in these customer testimonials, DCoD is also very energy efficient. Its unique design enables an extremely low partial PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) value.

Has uncertainty in the market or a long planning cycle incented you to consider a DCoD solution?