When IT’s Back is Up Against the Wall

Ciaran_Forde_headshot2 Ciaran Forde February 25, 2014
Up against the wallA traditional “brick and mortar” data center is a major capital expenditure (CapEx) which requires considerable upfront costs and can take years to plan and build. In a traditional build approach, corporations need to prepare for the anticipated growth in their IT requirements at least 10 years or more in the future. The pace of technological change makes this prediction difficult and, consequently, many traditional data centers are built with excessive surplus capacity well beyond their actual future demand.

In addition, a traditional build approach may take longer to complete due to its complexity, overcapacity requirement and possible coordination conflicts between multiple trades. As a result of the long planning processes with traditional data centers, the needs of the organizations may have changed in the time between the initial data center design and when it actually goes into service. Also, the existing data center must “cope” with its limitations regarding technology, space and power.

With all this in mind, customers who are backed up against the proverbial “wall” are turning to a relatively new option: the modular data center.

The modular data center can be deployed in a much shorter time interval than traditional data centers and the time to revenue for new data center services is much earlier. Operational inefficiency in the data center makes it more difficult for organizations to stay competitive and diverts money that can be spent on more strategic investments to help drive more revenue. Data centers that can’t enable revenue-generating applications in a timely fashion or help scale to meet business needs and growth have a negative impact on an organization’s bottom line.

The short deployment interval of the modular data center is a viable option when extra capacity is needed. So whether a company is opting to manage its own data center or utilize a co-location center looking to expand rapidly in catering for the needs of its tenants, a modular solution will increasingly have a place in the provision of data center capacity.

When selecting a modular data center solution, organizations should look for an option that is truly designed for the IT data center application. One important aspect to note is that not all modular solutions are the same – some are just shipping containers or pre-fabricated structures and can limit an organization’s options. But it is important to note that some modular solutions have benefits that include lower power usage effectiveness over its brick and mortar counterparts.

For faster deployment at a lower cost, it is easy to see why this modular data center solution is a growing option for the enterprise. What do you think of the modular data center? Do you think your organization’s network can benefit from this solution?

About the Author


Ciaran Forde

Ciaran Forde is vice president of Global Data Center Business for CommScope. With over 20 years experience in the telecommunications, networking and cabling industry, Mr. Forde brings a wealth of technological and management expertise to the SYSTIMAX® business. He joined the Lucent Technologies SYSTIMAX business in 1998, with responsibility for Engineering and Product Management in the region, before progressing to the role of regional account director in 2001.

Mr. Forde assumed sales responsibility for Middle East, Pakistan and Africa in 2006 and was appointed vice president of sales for EMEA in 2011 before taking his new role at the start of 2014. He balances commercial responsibilities with a keen interest and expertise in the more technical aspects of communications and is a frequent speaker at industry events as well as a regular commentator in the print media on a variety of topics at events around the globe.

Mr. Forde holds a bachelor’s of science in physics and an MBA from Kingston University and Business School (London).