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Data Center Handbook by Hwaiyu Geng

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4Modular Data Centers: Design, Deployment, and Other Considerations

Wade Vinson1, Matt Slaby1, and Ian Levine2

1 Hewlett-Packard Company, Houston, TX, USA

2 Hewlett-Packard Company, Albany, NY, USA

Within the data center (DC) construction market, analysts have recently described a category called Modular data centers (MDCs). In 2012, this type of build represented less than 5% of the total market, but it has been projected to almost double every year for the next several years. This chapter will describe Modular Data Center definition, design, and deployments, along with other consideration of similarities and differences with more traditional data centers.

4.1 Modular Data Center Definition

A critical understanding of the definition of a Modular Data Center (MDC) is that it can have no compromises with respect to a standard data center. Everything else in this handbook must apply with respect to usability, reliability, life expectancy, and the primary purpose to house, secure, power, cool, and provide connectivity for any type of IT device that would need to be deployed. The defining characteristic of an MDC is that when compared to a monolithic “brick and mortar” data center, some or all of the MDC components are not hand built on-site out of a collection of parts but are delivered as factory-built pre-engineered, preassembled, and pretested modules. Many industry experts liken the comparison of benefits to an automated assembly line versus hand-built automobiles. This ...

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