Major suppliers of data center equipment and complete data center solutions are heavily promoting the benefits of their modular approaches. Yet the definition of modularity remains vague and can be applied to a single device, such as a UPS, or it can be applied to complete data center buildings. Modularity has many benefits: It reduces defects, provides out-of-the-box functionality, helps adding N+1 redundancy, allows simplified operator training and increases energy efficiency.
To improve the vague definitions about modularity, APC recently released the white paper “Specification of Modular Data Center Architecture” by Neil Rasmussen. This paper makes clear what is meant by modular data center architecture, so that operators, construction firms, and suppliers can begin to have productive conversations about modular data center design using a common language. It also goes further in describing how modular architecture can be formally specified.
According to Rasmussen’s paper, an effective modular data center architecture has the following attributes:
“• It defines a set of modules from which data centers are deployed.
• It defines the modules as sets of subsystems that are linked together to the maximum
practical extent in order to minimize complexity of deployment.
• It is comprised of rules, tools, and devices that together prescribe how modules are deployed over time to support the growth plan for the data center.
• The system is engineered to minimize the planning, installation, configuration, and programming work required to deploy a module.
• The characteristics of the deployed system, such as capacity, efficiency, density, weight, etc are well defined in advance without further analysis.
• The level or “granularity” of module sizes has been established to be an effective tra- deoff between simplicity, cost, and rightsizing.
• It ideally allows for future options related to availability (redundancy) and power densi- ty.
• It is an open architecture that can accommodate new infrastructure products and devices from multiple vendors.”
For further insights we highly recommend to download the paper after the following link.