Lawyer Bait

The views expressed herein solely represent the author’s personal views and opinions and not of anyone else - person or organization.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

modular models

I have spoken to a number of users in private enterprise and government over the past 3 years who had expressed interest in looking at modular data center solutions. The three main reasons that these discussions never culminated in a modular model of deployment were that the solutions were uproven, they were a niche play, and there was no third party who had the skillsets required to put a deal together that included site selection, site prep, purchase of site, modular units, and ongoing operation. A close fourth was that there was no available sales data from the manufacturers.

The 'niche' has changed a lot and I personally have seen hundreds in operation - all at single user sites. These single users can tap into their corporate real estate teams, their facilities teams, and their IT organizations to figure it out.

  • What about the broader market/multi tenant marketplace? Where's the beef?
  • Where do companies turn to get real estate expert  who knows how to source land for a data center, talk electricity voltages and network topography, dabbles in construction and site prep, and has a track record with data center operations?
  • Who can actually do an assessment of the vendors and see who knows their shit, and who is just spinning the latest marketing brochure?
I know many real estate professionals and I work with a handful that understand data centers, I know and work with electrical contractors and manufacturers who excel at that piece, and have walked through several manufacturers solutions from around the world that are deployed at customer sites, and being a data center operator I understand the nuances of running a facility. So is it a matter of everyone wants to just focus on their ingredient vs. be the chef, or is it something else?

I love that the space is maturing. It truly is about time.

By my own research, modular data centers and containers (yes they are different), cost 50-60% less than a traditional build. They also cost 50% less to operate. I have the numbers to prove this out. So the industry just got half as expensive to get into, it's half the cost to operate. I have watched an announcement from SKANSKA with deep intrigue, because it is a BIG signal to me that they get it, and the industry is in fact changing.

The announcement - I saw it at Data Center Knowledge - is important because it means a builder gets it, and they know what I know - the writing is on the wall for traditional data center builds because of cost if nothing else. 'The modular design will serve as the nucleus for an ambitious plan for build a series of colocation facilities around the United States, which Skanska will own and operate'. So here we have a construction company getting into the data center business because they know that they can deliver - and operate - a facility for HALF the cost. Looks like Nepholo has figured it out too.

Pay attention folks, the industry just blinked...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell Us What You Think!