Archive for October, 2012

Datapod-Key Facts

Posted by on October 27, 2012  |  No Comments

Video showcases Datapod’s rapid remote deployment capability for a truly modular and expandable data center solution.


  • The Datapod System is a unique solution to the needs and problems facing data center facilities in every situation.
  • The Datapod System has extended the concept of modular data center design to the entire site infrastructure space.
  • The Datapod System meets the challenges of a sector in which growth is inevitable but the pace of growth is uncertain.
  • The Datapod System is scaleable, modular, upgradeable.
  • The Datapod System takes the idea of modular data centers to unrivaled levels of security, stability and flexibility.
  • The Datapod System can be configured as anything from a single data processing module operating with available services to a fully standalone data center facility.
  • The Datapod System can be installed in any location, indoors or out, and in any conditions subject only to area available for deployment.
  • The Datapod System delivers unrivaled set-up and operational cost savings and environmental advantages.
  • The Datapod System is assembled from factory-made, standardized modules with patent protection on a number of features.
  • The Datapod System is configured to exact client specifications at the point of manufacture, fully tested prior to shipping, and re-assembled at the client’s site.
  • The Datapod System incorporates Schneider Electric’s world’s best in class technology.
  • The Datapod System is typically configured, tested and commissioned within three months of order.


  • FACTORY/SITE ACCEPTANCE TESTING: The Datapod System offers commissioning engineers the opportunity of full Factory Acceptance Testing where, in a “test drive” situation, final adjustments can be made to configuration prior to shipment to the client’s site.  Upon delivery, Site Acceptance Testing confirms compliance with specification prior to hand over.
  • CAPACITY: The Datapod System is the complete turnkey solution to the problem of over-specifiying or under-estimating data processing needs-the modular components can be scaled and configured to meet present or anticipated requirements and the system can be easily expanded when further capacity is required.
  • POWER SUPPLY: The Datapod System’s entry-level module (the Projectpod) can be connected to existing services or configured with a Utilitypod which provides a back-up power supply through a diesel generator.
  • COOLING: The Datapod System’s data hall modules have a preinstalled Hot Aisle Containment System by Schneider Electric offering the most effective and energy efficient means of maintaining optimum operational  conditions within the data hall.
  • INTEGRITY: The Datapod System has been engineered to function in any climate, in any situation.  Compliant to MIL-STD-188-124B with full protection against lighting strikes, static electricity build-up, dust intrusion and other threats; outer shell construction is from recycled steel, the inner shells are fabricated from stainless steel which is thermally and electricity insulated from the over shells.
  • VERSATILITY: The Datapod System comprises a number of modules enabling a wide variety of configurations from standalone Projectpod to integration into a full data processing capability with Starterpod, Expanderpod, Endpod, Utilitypod; the configuration can be expanded without interruption to functionality.
  • SAFETY: The Datapod System has safety designed into every aspect of the modules, from seamless flooring to eliminate trip hazards to fire detection and alarm systems.


  • SCALEABILITY: The Datapod System offers the great advantage of being flexible, it can be specified to meet present or immediately projected needs limiting expenditure to useful capacity and, if required, readily expanded without down time.
  • FLEXIBILITY: The Datapod System works wherever you need it; the standalone capability and its great durability recommend it for harsh and remote locations but it is equally at home installed within a corporate headquarters or, where an existing building is at full capacity, placed adjacent in the grounds, warehouse or in the car park.
  • CAPITAL COSTS: The Datapod System is the most capital efficient solution to data processing center requirements irrespective of size and operational environment; the speed of deployment from final specification, the ability to customize to meet exact operational requirements, the fully detailed contract price all contribute to the Datapod System’s cost advantage over alternative solutions.
  • BUILD COSTS: The Datapod System is based on the configuration of standardized modules which are easily and rapidly deployed reducing all aspects of build costs including time, labor and energy costs associated with traditional builds.
  • OPERATING COSTS: The Datapod System scales to precise data processing requirements, ensuring that operation costs reflect operational needs; the additional technology and design features of the System also contribute to cost effective operation through the cooling architecture, use of insulation and incorporation of Schneider Electrics’ class-leading technology.
  • CONSTRUCTION RISKS: The Datapod System is fully assembled and Factory Acceptance Tested prior to shipment to and deployment on the user’s site; while configuration reflects individual user needs the component modules are of standard design and construction meaning they are fully tested and they benefit form Datapod’s commitment to continuous improvement through experience and client feedback.
  • POWER CONSUMPTION: The Datapod System has been innovatively engineered for optimum energy efficiency by right sizing electrical and mechanical components the System posts figures that indicate electricity consumption levels fifty percent below those of equivalent data centers.
  • EMISSIONS: The Datapod System’s energy efficient construction means reduced emissions and, importantly in every case and in some locations critically, the deployment of the modular Datapod System means enormously reduced emissions impact at the construction stage over traditional build solutions.
  • COOLING SYSTEM: The Datapod System uses specialized chillers with several environmental benefits; the use of Schneider Electric’s class leading Hot Aisle Containment system can be combined with a water side economizer resulting in economies in power use, the System’s Utility pod in addition employs dry condenser units meaning that a standard Datapod System consumes Zero water.
  • RECYCLED/RECYCLABLE MATERIALS: The Datapod System uses recycled steel in its outer shell construction and other recycled or recyclable materials where ever possible throughout design and build.


PROJECTPOD: Enable onsite computing and storage where and when you need it. Standalone fully self-contained, transportable for rapid deployment.  Includes fully self-contained air-cooled DX versions, provides data center capability anywhere at short lead time and for as long as required.  Low, medium, and high-density versions, utilizes condenser water or chilled water.

STARTERPOD: The starting point and first pod of your Datapod system, it contains the power, cooling and data input connections. Incorporates InRow Cooling and IT Enclosures, the expandable APC modular Symmetra UPS gives you the starting point for growth as required.  Built-In InRow cooling and NetShelter enclosures ensure your data center is up and running with no further upfront investment.  When 2 Starterpods are used, a 2(N+1) system is created providing the highest levels of availability and redundancy.

EXPANDERPOD: Grow your Datapod system by adding the pre-built Expanderpod.  It easily connects onto other ‘pods’ to expand your system.  Removable side-walls allow the creation of a limitless best-of-breed computer room, the system can be expanded as required by your IT needs, aligning your budgets with your requirements in real-time.  With pre-deployed power, inrow cooling and enclosures, you can build your data center on-demand.

ENDPOD: End your Datapod system with the Endpod.  The data center Hot Aisle can be accessed from either end.  The Endpod add more power, cooling and IT enclosures, and gives users the necessary space, access and the end door to the APC Hot-Aisle Containment System.  The Endpod is optional-some Datapod systems will continue to grow over time and not deploy the Endpod.  The solid, non-removable end wall ensures the highest levels of resistance to the elements.

CONNECTION NODE: The Connection Node makes the setup of the Datapod system a breeze.  This pre-deployable skid-mounted utility connection system for mains and generator power, cooling and data is designed to simplify the deployment, modification and removal of the Datapod System. Delivered to site in advance of the Starterpod, the Connection Node connects to the site mains power supply and optional diesel generator backup power supply. Data communication links and chilled water or condenser water from the site supply or Utilitypod are connected via the Connection Node.  Positioned 1 to 2 meters from the designated location, our APC engineers simply connect these 3 utilities from the Connection Node to the Datapod using pre-assembled link systems for rapid deployment.

ENTRYPOD: The Entrypod creates a secure and weatherproof system that doubles as office or storage space for data center staff.  The 10′ Entrypod cubicle, fitted with proximity card magnetic lock systems keeps the elements out of your data center.  It connects on both ends and enables multiple Datapods to be connected together via the Entrypod.

UTILITYPOD: The Utilitypod provides the backup power and cooling for your Datapod to operate anytime, anyplace.  Easily transportable, fully-rated diesel generator and fuel tans for backup power supply, and multiple redundant chillers to support the highest density Datapod system.  Housed within an identical 20′ enclosure and the capacity to support the highest density Datapod systems, the diesel generator provides 280kW of useable output power.  Cooling is supplied by 3X80kW chillers, giving redundancy to the critical cooling system.  The Utilitypod can be pre-deployed with the Connection Node or added later, as required. Alternatively the Utilitypod is available as a standalone system for use in non-Datapod projects.

Universal Networking Services is proud to be the North America Authorized Agent for Datapod™ . Our partnership with Datapod™ allows us to deliver a unique alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar data center installation. We can provide the data center community an alternative solution that maximizes their investment and increases the reliability and availability of their mission-critical facility.  Datapod is an unique, modular data center system that incorporates innovative design and cutting edge mechanical and electrical engineering. Datapod has extended the concept of modular data center design to include critical site infrastructure such as modular generators, chillers, and deployment services thereby providing a complete infrastructure solution for data centers. By enabling data center users to deploy when they like, where they like and for how long they like, the Datapod system offers performance superior to that of  a “bricks and mortar” data center facility, deploys faster and at a more cost-effective price point.

Please feel free to email us at or contact us to learn more.

Don’s Corner: In-row or Perimeter Cooling, is there really a difference, and if there is, which is better?

Posted by on October 4, 2012  |  No Comments

Don Melchert, Critical Facility Specialist

I love two-part questions, don’t you?  It shows me that the person asking it probably has some experience with the subject and is asking a loaded question.  Usually, the inquiry stems from an experience that didn’t go all too well, or, it went much better than planned and the question is asked more from a validation standpoint than an argument.  I’d much rather prefer the latter, of course, but in data centers, that’s usually not the case, is it?

With any subject that’s controversial, you’ll never win everyone over.  In the argument over In-row or Perimeter Cooling, the subject is more volatile, especially if the inquisitor’s job is to maintain an antiquated (read dinosaur) perimeter cooling system.  You just know they’re thinking to themselves, “If that system goes away…now what?”  Ever see the latest version of Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory?  When the machines took over production, Charlie’s dad was laid off, but in the end, he came back to work as a repair technician on the machine that replaced him.  What made Mr. Wonka decide to replace a human with a machine?  Was it production, quality, or floor space?  If you’re a Co-lo provider, floor space is high-dollar real estate!  So, for this article, let’s use floor space as our filter, and to keep the playing field even, we’ll assume a chilled water system.

After some research, and I’m putting that lightly, I’ve found the Liebert DS to be the most commonly deployed air conditioning system for data center use.  Really, I’ve seen them all over the globe!  Why shouldn’t they be the most common?  They’re easy to train on, so you can get training almost anywhere; they have a long service history, so MTTF rates are pretty accurate; they’re supported by a ton of people, so the MTTR rates are well documented, too.  Of course they have to be shut down to make most repairs, but that topic’s for another discussion.  Even though they’re the most common, the Liebert DS, and perimeter cooling in general, is losing ground to more efficient, close-coupled, In-Row and overhead solutions.

Floor space is the name of the game, so what kind of real estate does the most commonly found perimeter unit gobble up?  Simple answer: 21sq ft.  I said “simple answer” because I made a comment above about having to turn them off for repairs.  Which is why I found that most perimeter cooling believers had more than one Liebert in the room.  Even without a calculator, that’s 42 sq ft, folks, and that’s only at N+1 redundancy.  Within that 21 sq ft area, a Liebert DS can cool up to 42kW of critical load.  Not too shabby, but if you have any kind of redundancy requirement, you’re trying to get the most out of that space.  With a Co-location facility, now you’re looking at how many customers can I not fit into the room because you’re forced to give up 21 sq ft of real estate?  That kind of talk doesn’t fly too well in a boardroom.  So what’s the alternative?  Let’s look at one, the APC In-row, close coupled cooling, or IRRC.

The In-row RC, takes up only about 3.5 sq ft, but it makes up for it’s diminutive nature by removing 18kW of heat load.  With reference to floor space (…and this is where, somewhere out there, my high school geometry teacher is laughing her evil laugh), you’d need a bunch of IRRCs to equal the same amount of real estate consumed by a Liebert DS.  The answer is 6, Ms. Davidson (flashback to 9th grade).  With 6 IRRCs, one could cool up to 108kW of critical load!   Before you ask, no, you won’t need to make them redundant, as the most common failure items, the fans and power supplies, are all hot-swappable.  Here’s something else to chew on: the IRRCs don’t have to be right next to each other to get the job done.  At about half a rack wide, they can be separated around the room as needed, but you’ll need a sawzall and a darn good explanation afterward if you try to do the same thing with a legacy style perimeter unit!  Please, if you do this to a perimeter unit, invite me out and I’ll buy lunch?

Knowing that I’d have to prove my math, I worked the number backward and concluded that with 108kW of critical load, one would need 2.5 Liebert DS units to remove that much heat, or step up to the next size unit.

That’s where it really strikes home for me, personally.  After performing a CFEP, I’m often challenged with explaining why its important to let go of the ancient ways and consider converting from a perimeter cooled space to a modern, close-coupled solution.  If floor space is the driving factor, then the math, for me, drives the point home fairly well.  If a Co-lo data center can increase their customer base from 12 to 108kW, simply by becoming more efficient in their cooling architecture, maybe Charlie Bucket’s dad might not be laid-off after all.  In today’s job market, that means a lot.

Don Melchert