From the Lab

The Rise of the Modular Data Center

Amazon’s doing it. Microsoft’s doing it. Fidelity and Bank of America are doing it. Facebook’s doing it and calling it Ikea-inspired. All of these companies – and more – are going modular.
The trend toward modularity is taking place as companies recognize the need for both greater efficiency and scalability in data center build-outs. There are cost advantages to developing infrastructure only as needed, and there are performance benefits that come from engineering different sections of a data center according to different application workload requirements.
Large cloud-based companies like Amazon were among the first to go modular, but the trend is now spreading quickly across multiple industries. According to one study, the modular data center sector will grow at a compound annual rate of 31.9 percent over the next five years, creating a market value of $26.02 billion by 2019.

In a multi-tenant environment, the advantages of modularity are potentially even greater than in a single-tenant setting. With different modules for different clients, companies can customize power, cooling, and network connectivity configurations. Additionally, modules provide much greater security over traditional data center cages, which many companies now find insufficient for meeting mandated data protection and physical security policies.

blog-advanced-designAt Keystone NAP, our approach to modularity centers on stackable, secure, pre-fabricated vaults that we’ve co-developed with Schneider Electric. These KeyBlocks are a unique component to the Advanced Data Center (ADC) architecture we’ve built, and they offer customers a level of flexibility that’s still missing from many other data center facilities. Each KeyBlock provides atomic, consistent, isolated and durable (ACID) power services from 100kW to 400kw. KeyBlocks are quick to deploy, and we can offer custom SLAs depending on a customer’s specific power, cooling, and redundancy needs.

As the only advanced data center serving the Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York markets, we see modularity as a critical part of our service offering. This is where the data center industry is headed, and we’re proud to be one of the leaders of the modularity movement.