data center container use grows: IBM

IBM ( cloud VP Ric Telford said in a presentation last Wednesday at Interop that he expects container-based data center gear to become a more popular means of building out existing data center capacity without having to establish new data centers, according to a report by Information Week.

IBM is one of several companies, along with HP, Sun Microsystems and Rackable, that began offering pre-built data center components built into shipping containers in the last few years.

According to the report, Telford said much of the early market for the container-based products has been related to temporary or transient needs, from companies that need short-term capacity in remote locations. But, he says, IBM is seeing a shift to more customers using the containers to add permanent capacity to existing data centers - likening the decision making process to the cost analysis school systems make when deciding to build out school facilities with portable classrooms.

The container-based data center building model has seen some serious traction in the last year among some of the largest operators of data center capacity. Last year, Microsoft began building out a facility that used containers as its primary mode of building.

And in April, Google revealed details of its own use of shipping containers in building out facilities.

"Rather than buying a new data center, you just park one or two of these things behind your data center, and then plug it into the rest of the data center," said Telford, quoted in the Information Week story. "Going forward, it's going to be something that's going to augment your existing data center."

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