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Posted by Rachel Dines on July 27, 2010
In the late 1940s, William Levitt came up with the idea of pre-fabricated homes that could be mass-produced and shipped to suburbs across the US providing cheap and efficient housing. Towns built using these pre-fabricated houses were dubbed Levittowns, and are now known for their drab monotony. In my opinion, pre-fabricated homes were a flop, but the idea of pre-fabricated “Levittown-esque” data centers is brilliant!
And I’m not alone--HP and Colt are just two of the latest providers to jump on the pre-fabricated data center bandwagon this month. Other vendors such as Digital Realty Trust, APC, and IBM have also been offering similar solutions for a while now, but the solutions appear to be a bit more custom-made than the recent announcements by HP and Colt.
The pre-fabricated data center modules are built out in around 750-800kw units and are fitted together like Legos (HP’s even looks like Legos!). Many modular data centers can be linked together (and Colt’s can also stack vertically) to build out a much larger space.
Why should you care about these pre-fabricated data center offerings? Well, they make the whole process of building your own data center much cheaper and faster. Some of the benefits I can see include:
NOTE: pre-fabricated data centers are not to be confused with containerized data centers, although many of the same players are involved. Pre-fabricated data centers take all of the benefits of a containerized data center (efficiency, speed to market, self-containment, etc.), but make them more viable for most enterprises in that they are more similar to traditional data centers and are less dense.
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