Three Common Misconceptions of Modular Vs. Containerized

Date posted: March 14, 2013  Posted by

Every day we talk to data center owners, consultants and builders about how to build a better mouse trap. The conversation inevitably leads to banter about the misconceptions of modular vs. containerized. Below, you can get a quick differentiation between the two models to help you make a more informed decision for your data center needs.

1. Design: Modular data centers can be customized and built off site to meet a specific need. This flexibility allows you the opportunity to design your data center solutions according to infrastructure need and current data usage, which improves budget efficiencies. Containerized solutions do not offer this level of flexibility and, in reality, are ‘catalog products’ designed for a single purpose. You can repeatedly buy a containerized solution, but unlike modular, what you see is really what you are going to get.

2. Scalability: Custom Modular Data Center (CMDC) production is scalable, a benefit that allows you to match capital to construction costs over a phased construction process and offers the freedom to add future capacity easily, with minimal disruption to operating systems. By contrast, containerized data centers are limited by ‘right now’ menu-sized options. You are not allowed to change the menu, and must choose from specific equipment solutions: small, medium or large. While such options are fine when ordering fast food, the importance of and investment in your new data center requires much more customization to meet your unique needs.

3. Capacity: Modular data centers are designed to allow you to build your data center capacity as needs dictate. Extra modules can be added as you see fit, giving you another layer of flexibility. Container data centers are more restrictive because they do not offer this level of adaptability.

Planning for and building data centers can be tough tasks. With so much riding on the issues you face today, it can be difficult to anticipate the future implications of your choices. By choosing to build a box around the data center of your design, rather than cram your data center in a box, you leave yourself the flexibility to adapt to future conditions, giving you the confidence you have done your best to protect your company’s best interests in both the near and long term.