The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the IT landscape for many enterprise companies by driving the need for lots of smaller, local, edge data centers. That’s creating lots of opportunity for IT Solution Providers, who can turn IoT complexity into new revenue and services aimed at these distributed IT environments.
A recent Gartner report lays out the opportunity nicely, arguing that micro data centers (MDCs) that support all IT functions – including uninterruptible power supply, servers, storage, networking and cooling – are ideal for addressing IoT requirements. Such MDCs are merely small computer rooms, usually housing no more than a rack or two of equipment. But they are also modular and containerized, meaning they’re self-contained units that can be placed virtually anywhere a customer may have some spare space. Prefabricated, modular MDCs offer several advantages vs. building a data center from scratch, for both customers and partners.
For starters, it’s common that a customer addressing IoT needs will want multiple MDCs to put in different areas. With prefabricated MDCs, it’s a simple matter to get standardized, redundant deployments. Start with a reference design, if you like, and customize it according to your customer’s requirements. You can then order multiple versions of the same design, or tweak it for future deployments as needed.
MDCs also can come with integrated data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software, which enables remote management of the entire MDC. That’s important because, as the Gartner report notes, “Many remote sites are partially or fully managed by non-IT personnel, introducing security risks and a possibility of high management costs associated with central IT support help and inefficient data center facilities.”
Having an MDC outfitted with DCIM software presents an opportunity for partners to manage MDCs on behalf of customers. In addition to the extra revenue stream, offering such managed services is a good way to improve your overall relationship with your customers, as discussed in this previous post.
Prefabricated MDCs also provide the kind of security that customers need for all their data center equipment. That’s especially important for a small data center that essentially stands on its own, without the kind of perimeter physical security that a centralized data center typically has. At the very least, a prefab MDC puts everything under lock and key; some even have options for biometric access control.
Perhaps best of all, prefabricated MDCs enable partners to increase their speed and agility in meeting customer demands. It also provides Certainty in a Connected World by ensuring reliability and connectivity which are critical for business operations. An entire MDC, such as the Micro DC Xpress, ships just 2 or 3 weeks after ordering. With the ability to have the entire unit pre-configured with whatever integrated UPS, power distribution, software (including DCIM), and environmental monitoring that customers want, they also reduce costs and drive simplification for partners and customers alike.
Learn more about the opportunity MDCs present for IoT applications. Download the complimentary Gartner report, “Market Trends: Take Advantage of Opportunities IoT Creates for Micro Data Centers at the Edge” which is available for a limited time.