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Data Centre in a Container

Data Centre in a Container from Workspace TechnologyWhat is a data centre in a container?

Simply put, it is based on an ISO standard shipping container, either 20 or 40 feet modified to house 19” IT racks. The container will be pre-engineered and equipped with all the necessary infrastructure that you would find in a traditional data centre building installation, and typically this would include:

  • Cooling systems
  • Fire suppression & detection
  • Equipment cabinets
  • Power distribution
  • UPS systems
  • Internal cabling network
  • Secure access control
  • Environmental and DCIM management systems

Following positioning, connection to site services and commissioning of an all-in-one “Containerised Data Centre”, it is ‘server ready’!

What are the advantages of a data centre in a container?

As ISO shipping containers are specifically designed for transportation purposes, portability is the fundamental advantage of an ISO containerised data centre; it can be easily transported by land, sea and air using standard transportation.

Where data centre infrastructure is a temporary measure required quickly, perhaps for the purposes of a DR solution, or deployment by the armed services, an ISO containerised data centre is an ideal solution.

What are the disadvantages of a data centre in a container?

ISO containers are designed for the transportation of freight. Whilst the length and height of the containers don’t present too many issues for data centre infrastructure, the restrictions of width present real problems when designing efficient and accessible data centre infrastructure.

The ISO container, regardless of length, has a fixed 2.35m internal width. However, once you apply insulation and acoustic or RF protection, that internal width can drop to 2.2m or less. This means that the layout within the container will be inefficient and where racks may need to be mounted on floor rails to allow access to the front and rear.

IT racks require a minimum of 1,000mm in front of the racks for loading of servers, storage and networking equipment and at least a similar dimension to the rear for cooling and power requirements. With modern IT racks having depths of up to 1,200mm, the minimum internal width of a data centre should be at least 3.2m, but preferably 3.4m.

So when should you use a data centre in a container?

An ISO containerised data centre will be the optimum choice if you need to deploy rapidly, temporarily or to a remote location or where the IT rack count is low. Where rapid deployment is required, but the application will be more sustained within more accessible locations, a custom-built, prefabricated, pre-engineered data centre will provide similar timeframes to deployment whilst providing a much improved and efficient infrastructure environment that allows a more significant number of IT racks.

Other technical applications in a container

There are other ‘technical applications’ where ISO containers are used and where width restrictions of the container are less of a concern, these include:

Containerised SCIF (SecureCube™)

Workspace Technology’s SecureCube™ technology provides a bespoke range of portable “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility” (SCIF) buildings that deliver industry-leading secure meeting environments for defence, government and corporate clients across the globe.

Containerised Telecoms Cabin

Workspace Technology’s “Technical Prefabricated Telecoms Cabins” are bespoke to suit individual client build requirements as appropriate for fixed-line, mobile, radar or transmission applications.

Containerised Power Pod

Workspace Technology’s “Technical Prefabricated Power Pods” are bespoke to suit individual client requirements as appropriate for specific power applications.

Containerised CyberCube™

Workspace Technology’s CyberCube™ technology supports a range of defence sector applications that demand enhanced security levels. CyberCube™ applications include but are not limited to UAV control rooms, command & control centres and data centres.

Data Centre in a Container Manufacturer

At their unique production facility based in the West Midlands UK, Workspace Technology Ltd produce both containerised and custom prefabricated data centres, in addition to a range of other prefabricated technical buildings. So whether you require either an ISO shipping container or a custom prefabricated data centre, Workspace Technology Ltd can provide the best and most suitable solution for your application.

Contact us on 0121 354 4894 or for further information.

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