With new age applications demanding greater scalability and elasticity, traditional data centers are getting stressed. In this context, modular data centers are rapidly emerging as an efficient and cost-effective alternative over traditional data centers. Although, modular data centers are still in a nascent stage and the design and technology is yet to be accepted on a full scale, the market is poised for considerable growth in the coming years.
Dataquest spoke to four leading CIOs to gauge how they perceive the potential in modular data centers.
Johnson K Jose, DGM (IT), Federal Bank
With IT budgets shrinking and businesses demanding more in less budgets, the choice of a datacenter becomes a critical one. For us, the efficient use of energy is a key factor as this translates into lower operation cost. The other factors like location, age, network connectivity, etc, follow.
I believe that a modular data center would be a better alternative over the traditional one as it gives the ease of expanding as we grow. Sudden expansion in the business calls for faster growth of computing resources. A modular approach will help in these situations as the investment is lower during the initial period and one can increase it as the business grows. The ease of deployment is another point to be noted. On top of it, a modular datacenter enables efficient use of energy. Technologies like private cloud and virtualization help to manage the ever-growing need for computing resources. These technologies are adaptable in a modular data center.
G Radhakrishna Pillai, CIO, SRL Limited
Choosing a datacenter depends on the kind of business you are into. Today, with the businesses being so demanding and the fit-out window shrinking, as a CIO I look at options which can be setup faster, as well as portable, based on the future business environment.
One of the foremost reasons why enterprises are going for modular data centers is cost. The modular data centers are much cheaper to build and can be placed anywhere unlike the traditional ones. Secondly, the pre-fabricated modular data centers can be implemented faster than their traditional counterparts. Another reason is that the expansion of data center capacity is possible quickly in any size depending on business requirements.
Modular data centers come with their own set of advantages and enterprises are warmly welcoming them. The modular data centers come with purpose-engineered modules and components to offer scalable data center capacity with multiple power and cooling options. Moreover, the modules can be shipped anywhere and can be scaled as needed. The major factor which works in the favor of modular data centers is flexibility. System/network/cooling and power systems can be fitted into one module and can be shifted as a ready data center. Modular data centers save a lot of cooling requirements by smart design unlike traditional data centers which consume a lot of power.
Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, CIO, Apollo Hospitals
As a CIO of a healthcare setup, to ensure that our services are up 24/7 and 365 days is an absolute necessity. So, while looking for a data center we ensure that there is enough redundancy and back-up. Other preferences include that the data centers should be well-supported and well-managed. Skills of the people managing the data center is also critical. Equally important to us are all the technology components and having the right level of service. From our organization standpoint, we have not deployed a modular data center, primarily because we have gone for a private cloud, as well as hybrid cloud. We believe a private or hybrid cloud offers more elasticity than a modular data center.