Rapid Deployment and Flexibility? Who Says You Can’t Have It All?

Jorge Aguilar •

Prefabricated Modular Data Centers let you install capacity quickly. But can they really meet all of your unique requirements?

The ‘word priorities’ (plural) is a relatively new concept. Originally, the term was priority—suggesting that you have just one primary objective to accomplish, and everything else takes a back seat. But in a world where often-competing demands are coming at data center managers from every angle, it’s a laughable concept. IT decision makers simply must have solutions that check multiple boxes simultaneously.

Yet, that holy grail has been elusive. It seems there’s always a need for give and take. Prefabricated Modular (PFM) data centers provide a case in point. Yes, with their pre-integrated, right-sized infrastructure, they let you add the rack storage, backup power, and cooling capacity you need quickly and easily compared to conventional or stick build facilities.

But you typically must be willing to take what you get, at least to some extent. For deployments with unique or specialized infrastructure requirements, something that’s already built and ready to ship is highly unlikely to be exactly suited to specifications. You have to be willing to give up a tailor-made solution to get the speed. Or, at least that’s been the widely held belief.


Speed Is Leading the Pack

Right now, with organizations dealing with pent-up demand from the pandemic and the surge in remote working, on top of the ever-expanding growth of edge computing, the need for rapid deployment is trumping everything else. Given that land grabs for available edge computing real estate are already well underway in some regions, along with the shortages in the skilled labor needed for construction projects, new builds are definitely not going to be quick, and data center managers need a faster alternative.

All of this is accelerating an already-existing trend toward PFM data centers that come with racks, backup power, thermal management systems, power distribution units, and more; all neatly enclosed and ready to go. While installation speed is definitely a key here, the many other advantages the PFM methodology offers—the ability to build only what you need and add on later, lower total cost of ownership, but also the option to reuse existing facilities, greater quality control, and build consistency, to name a few—are also helping to fuel wider spread adoption.


Indeed, it’s enough to convince even the most cautious data center managers to consider jumping on the PFM bandwagon. Still, lingering concerns persist over what must be given up (namely, losing total control over the design process) in exchange for all the advantages PFM data centers dangle in front of us.


Configuration Options Are the Key to Offering the Best of Both Worlds

In a recent project, we worked with a multinational pharmaceutical company dealing with just such a conundrum. The innovative developer of medications, vaccines, and biological therapies was in need of more data storage for one of its manufacturing facilities—and the schedule to meet this requirement was tight. Fortunately, the company had an existing facility that could be repurposed. However, it also had some specific requirements it couldn’t budge on, causing decision makers to question if a PFM data center could really fit the bill.



Case Study: Vertiv™ SmartMod™ Offers Rapid Deployment & Configuration

This case was a very good example of how Vertiv™ SmartMod™ can solve an important need that, a year ago, would likely have required a more complex solution, more time, and surely higher costs. Like all PFM data centers, Vertiv SmartMod relies on pre-engineered, prefabricated, and pre-integrated infrastructure that is factory installed in a transportable, weather-proof enclosure. This simplifies and drastically shortens on-site installation and startup, reducing the potential for schedule delays - an absolute must for this particular project’s timeline.


You Don’t Have to Settle

As prefabricated modular data centers continue to gain traction as a way to meet the demand for additional IT capacity quickly, it is important to remember that speed and convenience do not have to come at the expense of reliability, usability, or other features that are essential to your mission critical application. Of course, PFMs are, by their very nature, prebuilt to expedite processes. So, some components will be set in stone, so to speak. Still, there remains plenty of opportunity to configure a solution that can fit your most important requirements and still meet your rapid project timelines while remaining cost-effective. Learn more about the Vertiv SmartMod here, or contact your Vertiv representative to discuss your PFM customization questions.

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