Containerized data centers are customized 20- and 40-foot shipping containers crammed with high-density servers and storage equipment. They provide a way for companies to add computing capacity quickly to an existing data center, or to bring computing power into the field, for military use, for example.
The containers must still be hooked up to a power and cooling infrastructure, however, so they are often located within or near existing data centers. The new gear from APC should provide companies with more freedom as to where they locate their containers, said Steve Carlini, APC director of product management.
The containerized market is still relatively small and there may be few companies today that are interested in putting data centers in the middle of nowhere. But some vendors and analysts see them as an option for disaster recovery, particularly for companies that operate where natural disasters like earthquakes occur.
Microsoft has even of putting a containerized data center in every town to deliver its online services. It sees them as highly energy efficient, and locating them close to customers would eliminate network latency.
APC has already developed some modular infrastructure products that are sold in Australia through a with local vendor Datapod. Datapod sells several modules that use APC technology, including a Utilitypod with a built-in chiller and generator. A shows how the modules fit together.