Across all industries, the need for fast, reliable data and computing power has seen exponential growth over the last decade. With this increase, the need for infostructure to support the technologies companies rely on no matter where the work is taking place. With this need has come the introduction of technical buildings known as modular data centers or MDCs. These highly customizable buildings can be constructed to provide the necessary technologies for a wide range of industries and can be deployed across a wide range of locations.

Armoda is an industry leader in the construction and deployment of technical buildings. This article breaks down what a modular data center is and the key benefits they provide.

What is a Data Center?

To understand what a modular data center is, it is essential to first understand what a traditional data center is. A traditional data center is a facility, room, or building that organizations use to house and protect the components necessary to run their applications and data. Each individual data center is designed to support the specific needs of that organization and the projects it is supporting. In general, they provide network infrastructure, storage infrastructure, computing resources, or any combination of the three. This infrastructure network is what allows organizations to run their critical technologies, which can include:

  • Email
  • File sharing
  • Applications
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • Databases
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning (ML)
  • Virtual machines (VM)
  • Crypto mining
  • And more

While the components used for a specific data center vary depending on its intended purpose, there are some common components found in most data centers, including:

  • Routers
  • Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)
  • Switches
  • Firewalls
  • Server banks
  • Application-delivery controllers
  • Cooling and airflow systems
  • Fire-suppression systems
  • Cabinets
  • Racks
  • Cables
  • Batteries

What is a Modular Data Center (MDC)?

Unlike traditional data centers housed in brick-and-mortar facilities or within existing office buildings, modular data centers are technical buildings constructed as prefabricated units designed to be quickly and easily deployed to meet the demands of a wide range of projects. Each MDC is intended to be a self-contained unit housing all the necessary equipment. Their construction is typically based on a standard container module and ranges in size from 20 feet to 40 feet in length. The modular design of the MDC provides it with key benefits over the traditional data center.

  1. Rapid deployment – MDCs are constructed using prefabricated construction methods, which allow for quicker turnaround times. The units can also be tested before installation to ensure smooth, quick installation on site.
  2. Cost-efficient – MDCs can provide all the advantages of a traditional data center at a lower cost.
  3. Portable – The container module construction of MDCs allows them to be easily transported. This allows them to be deployed at remote locations, where building a traditional building to house a data center is impossible. It also allows them to move with projects as different sections are completed.
  4. Low latency – MDCs reduce latency by placing the data center physically closer to the end-user. This proximity improves the end users’ experience, ensuring that the applications they rely on are run as quickly and efficiently as the users expect. It also allows for quicker access to stored data allowing for less time waiting on critical documents to download. 
  5. Expandable – Additional MDCs can be deployed to a location and networked together to meet the demands of the organization or project. If the demand does not warrant an additional MDC, the equipment within the unit can also be upgraded.

How are MDCs deployed today?

Today modular data centers can be found supporting a wide range of industries.

  1. Wind Energy – Wind energy companies have begun pairing their wind turbines with MDCs to provide low-emissions distributed data centers as well as battery storage to harness excess power produced.
  2. Disaster Recovery – Natural disasters can take down critical infrastructure. MDCs can be deployed to support disaster recovery projects providing the connectivity and data resources necessary to begin the recovery. They are also used as cost-effective offsite redundant backups of critical data.
  3. Military – The portability of the MDC allows the military to bring their mission-critical data with them wherever they deploy. They also support government-owned buildings that don’t have the space to house a traditional data center.
  4. Crypto Mining – MDCs have been used as a cost-effective means of creating large mining operations. They provide all the necessary equipment in an energy-efficient and space-saving footprint, including server racks, PLC panels, as well as proper ventilation.

Modular data centers are highly customizable buildings constructed to provide the network infrastructure, storage infrastructure, and computing resources that nearly all industries rely on today. With rapid deployment, portability, and expandability, MDCs offer a compelling alternative to traditional data centers.

Armoda has constructed modular data centers for a wide range of industries deployed around the globe. If you have any questions about technical buildings, our team of experts is here and ready to help.

Need a modular data center for your next project?

Armoda can provide a customized modular data center constructed to meet your specific data center requirements. Request a quote today and get your next project underway.