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 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...