Carriers Turn to Modular Data Centers to Address Industry Complexity


Ed. Note: This blog was authored by Ty Schmitt, Fellow, Dell Extreme Scale Infrastructure

Modular Data Centers (MDCs) have been around since the mid-2000s, evolving from containerized solutions that met specific workload requirements to the more flexible and modular designs we see in hyperscale environments today. Companies deploying MDCs share the common goal of needing to scale their datacenter capacity quickly and cost-effectively with a custom-fit solution.

Recently, we’ve noticed that organizations evaluating MDCs have expanded beyond traditional hyperscale players to include communications companies. While at Mobile World Congress earlier this year speaking with some of the world’s largest carriers, we learned that the shifting consumer behavior with constant content streaming, always-on lifestyles and associated skyrocketing data needs has led these companies to consider more nimble approaches when determining their datacenter strategies.

Going into the Big Communications Event, we wanted to share a few insights about the potential for MDCs as a business driver for the communications industry.

So what are the big takeaways?

  • Trend: Modern communications technologies require constantly evolving strategies to compete with digitally born companies, and decision makers are now embracing more agile approaches and cutting edge solutions like MDCs to drive cost and energy efficiencies and shorten the time it takes to add critical datacenter capacity.
  • Solution: Some carriers are starting to evaluate new MDC designs that are smaller than traditional MDC solutions and tailored to meet specific application needs for edge/remote edge solutions; for example, locating networking solutions in close proximity to cellular towers that are nearer to communities of users.
  • What’s Next: We are working side-by-side with our carrier customers to develop new MDCs with pre-integrated IT solutions that pack more density into fewer racks, and can be customized in both size and capacity to scale-out to meet a variety of market demands. By building more nimble solutions, we make it easier for carriers to be responsive to their customers’ changing data needs.

MDCs offer carriers flexibility, capacity as-needed and can serve as a complete datacenter replacement or augment traditional raised-floor datacenter space depending on business demands. Regardless of the customer need, Dell is committed to helping our customers take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the 21st century communications landscape. With Dell MDCs, carriers can deliver modules with pre-integrated IT in less than six months, deploy for a fraction of the cost of building traditional raised-floor datacenters and control budget spend by adding modules on an as-needed basis. Along with fast and affordable deployments, Dell MDCs deliver incredible efficiency, with power usage effectiveness (PUE) as low as 1.02.

If you’re in the communications industry and attending the Big Communications Event in Austin this week, we hope you’ll swing by the Dell booth to learn more. The Extreme Scale Infrastructure (ESI) group will have a Dell MDC model on display, along with our forthcoming rack-level infrastructure – the Dell DSS 9000 – among other exciting Dell products and solutions.

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