Prefab data centres a “viable solution”, says Emerson


26 February 2015

Prefabricated data centres transform traditional data centre construction practices by manufacturing and testing an entire facility offsite in modules before shipping and assembling those modules onsite. The result, said Emerson Network Power in an executive brief on the topic, is a tightly integrated facility that can be deployed faster and at a lower cost than a similar facility using traditional construction practices.

“Prefabricated data centres are emerging as a new and viable solution for the changing capacity demands of the data centre. As opposed to the traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ data centre, these prefabricated data centres are scalable and rapidly deployable, promising significant savings on building cost and deployment,” said Steve Shelley, vice president of modular solutions, Emerson Network Power in Asia.

“Moreover, modularity enables ‘grow as you grow,’ allowing data centre solutions to be sized accordingly to meet client demands. Prefabricated data centres are ideal for a wide range of industries such as telecom, industrial, and healthcare,” he added.

The business case for prefabricated data centres is explained in the executive brief, “Prefabricated Data Centres: Are They Right for You?”. In the Playbook for Change, “Evaluating and Deploying Prefabricated Data Centres,” Emerson Network Power takes a closer look at executional considerations. Some potential advantages to the approach, examined more closely in the two pieces, include:

-    Speed of Deployment: Prefabricated data centres cut months off the time to deploy and should appeal to any organisation seeking to accelerate data centre deployment.

-    Scalability: Because prefabricated data centres take a modular approach to design and fabrication, they are inherently scalable, allowing streamlined, on-demand capacity expansion.

-    Cost Control: Prefabricated data centres leverage economies of scale and streamlined processes made possible by offsite assembly to enable lower total cost of ownership.

-    Design Flexibility: Prefabricated data centres are custom designed to a site and have no inherent limitations in terms of functionality or aesthetics.

-    Performance: Assembly in a factory-controlled environment enables more control over fit, finish, and quality of workmanship, plus thorough testing and optimisation prior to delivery.

-    Intelligence: Integrated components, managed together, enable higher IT productivity and more dynamic capacity adjustments.

-    Project Management and Service: Preassembled, integrated systems - featuring components from a single vendor or chosen for their compatibility - simplify project specification and execution and ensure more efficient service and maintenance over the life of the deployment.

Telecom services, such as voice and data, require high performance systems to handle increasing customer demand, said Cal Lahteenmaa, technical director, telecoms, Emerson Network Power in Asia. “Prefabricated data centres are an attractive solution for telecom operators, providing cost and energy efficiency. As they are rapidly deployable, prefabricated data centres make growth easier, and anticipation of the need for expansion means the infrastructure can grow without the site skipping a beat, as these data centres can be installed while those already working remain in operation.”