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Modular data centres increasingly popular, Vertiv recognised as leader

Vertiv has been identified as a leading supplier in the modular data centre market, according to new research conducted by Omdia, the technology analyst firm.

Omdia’s research highlights that key benefits, such as the ability to scale with confidence, are driving significant growth in the adoption of PFM solutions in all geographies.

The Omdia report, Prefabricated Modular Data Centres, published in early 2020 and based on 2018 and 2019 data, valued PFM shipments at more than U$1.2 billion in 2018 with growth in deployments set to increase by more than 65% for 2019.

The analyst group attributed this strong growth to a number of factors including scalability, the benefits of offsite manufacturing and integration, and speed of deployment.

The Omdia report defined a number of different forms of PFM data centres with varying use cases, including IT and facility-specific designs and so-called all-in-one modules (with integrated IT, power, and cooling infrastructure) which are commonly used in education, industrial, and healthcare applications as well as remote and harsh environments.

According to Omdia, demand for edge computing is driving uptake of all-in-one modules for edge locations that need a small data centre presence close to end users.

The ‘plug and play’ approach has the benefit of cutting the time for start-up and commissioning to just a few days instead of weeks, or months, but also reducing the potential for quality issues, as components are pre-integrated and pre-tested off-site, Omdia states.

Lucas Beran, principal analyst for Omdia’s cloud and data centre research practice and the report’s author, identified speed of deployment as the primary driver for many owners and operators.

Beran says, “The rapid growth of data and insatiable demand for compute is driving the rapid growth of data centres. Given that a traditional data centre takes 18 to 24 months to deploy, a quicker solution is often needed.

“On average, suppliers of prefabricated modular data centres can deliver a solution in four to six months.”

As described in the report, Vertiv’s PFM designs cover a range of different offerings to meet specific customer needs, such as the Vertiv SmartMod – a fully self-contained and ready-to-order PFM product range that enables new data centre whitespace to be rapidly deployed.

SmartMod designs have recently been awarded Uptime Institute’s TIER-Ready designation of performance resiliency in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), also allowing Vertiv to sell Uptime Institute Tier Certification of Constructed Facilities (TCCF) services with TIER-Ready modular units,.

Vertiv also provides completely custom PFM solutions, which include design, project management and system integration.

Vertiv vice president of Integrated Modular Solutions Viktor Petik says, “We have seen strong growth in demand for PFM data centres as owners and operators realise the benefits of scalability, cost-efficiency and speed of deployment that they provide. Our customers also value our design flexibility and the customisations that we offer.

“To make the offerings more resilient and quickly available, we gained PFM TIER-Ready certification in EMEA through a recent agreement with Uptime Institute, increased operations in North America and are working on plans to expand our PFM facility in Croatia to increase capacity and reinforce our capabilities in this key market sector.”

Vertiv vice president of global edge solutions Martin Olsen says, “North America is seeing an increase in adoption of PFM data centres for large hyperscale and colocation use, and cloud service providers are deploying them to mimic traditional data centre buildings, specifically when expanding into new availability zones.”