Large scale movements in data centers do not come rapidly, but are incredibly impactful when they do. For example data processing from off premise (mainframes) to on premise and now back off premise (cloud services and colo). The latest movement is with micro data centers, which offer solid performance justifications. In previous posts we gave an overview of the benefits and took a look ahead at use cases and market potential.
Honing in on one important value — under the right conditions — micro data centers can also yield 50% cost savings over building a dedicated data center. How is this possible? By leveraging existing facility level power and cooling – generator, switchgear, chillers, etc.
These facility level systems usually have excess capacity to tap into. For instance, a 1 MW Tier 1 data center physical infrastructure will cost around $1.08M or $10.8/watt, while a 5 kW micro data center will cost around $50K or $5/watt for a 1 rack complete, secure physical infrastructure solution with cabinet, UPS, PDU, environmental monitoring and management.
With the advancements in IT equipment, what used to take 5-10 racks of gear can now fit into a single rack space or two. Plus, the power input and the heat output can usually be handled by the building’s breaker panels and comfort cooling.
As more capacity is needed in the future, you can simply add another micro data center. If you are thinking that this reminds you of a distributed architecture — you would be right. You scale only as needed, easily schedule maintenance and a failure will not bring down your entire operation.
Under the right circumstances of having sunk costs and available facility capacity and the ability to deploy applications in a few racks, micro data centers can be attractive cost savings alternatives to building a new data center and, thereby, improve your bottom line.