Modular data centers gear up for apps of the future

Modular data centers are set to revolutionize next-gen applications like Internet of Things (IoT), 5G cellular connectivity roll-out and micro data centers in smart cities. Container Data Centers (CDC) promise radical edge computing possibilities on this front.

The data center sphere, as we know it, is set to witness a sea change. Emerging applications driven by trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G cellular connectivity and machine to machine communication call for intelligent data processing across networks.

Gartner studies estimate the number of connected sensors and endpoints to cross 20 billion globally by 2020. Such ecosystems place mammoth demands on infrastructure. Edge computing and modular data center solutions make their presence felt at this point.

Tracing its origins to mesh networking and distributed processing, edge computing is an evolving concept. It marks the shift of computing capabilities closer to geographically distant data sources for optimal response times, superior user experiences, and cost-effective infrastructure. Data harvested from edge devices (such as sensors) is processed at the edge server or edge cloud layers.

Innovative rollouts are underway in business sectors such as retail, telecom and finance. For example, digital trial rooms use virtual reality and image recognition to allow customer “fit outs” for clothing prior to online purchases. Modular data centers can cache such compute-intensive tasks for seamless and immersive customer experiences. In case of telecom, service providers deploy modular data centers to tackle network service optimization and regulatory compliance requirements. 


Modular data centers integrate compute, storage, power, cooling, fire detection/suppression, and security into prefabricated form factors. Quick commissioning and deployment (within weeks) make it ideal for rapid or makeshift deployment scenarios such as those in defense, telecom, oil and gas, mining or financial sectors.

The modular data center range developed by Sterling and Wilson in collaboration with Germany-based Data Center Group is a case in point. These solutions are tested and certified against explosions, EMP interference and are resistant to fire for 90 minutes (up to 1100 degree Celsius). Critical military facilities can go live within a couple of months using our Container Data Center (CDC) solutions.

Prasana Sarambale, CEO – Data Center Business & Group Head – Business Development, Sterling and Wilson Pvt. Ltd.

IDC predicts that at least 40% of IoT data will be managed at the network edge in 2019. On-site compute capabilities offered by modular data centers ensure high latency gains. For example, implementers of modular data centers at the edge level witness latency reduction from hundreds of milliseconds to less than 10 milliseconds. Accompanying bandwidth savings ensure quick ROI.

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