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IBM launches ‘new-age’ DC in Singapore

Anushkar Mohinani | April 8, 2011
Given the mounting interest in containerised data centres, IBM believes its Portable Modular Data Centre will be viable among diverse local industries.

Portable DC

Portable Modular Data Centre

SINGAPORE, 8 APRIL 2011 - Technology giant IBM launched its Portable Modular Data Centre (PMDC) in Singapore yesterday. The PMDC is a compact, fully-fitted data centre housed within a standard shipping container to provide a fast deployment and energy and space efficient alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar data centres.

IBM said its PMDC is ideal to provide computing power to companies that have run out of space at their premises or that need to deploy computing power in the field, or as a disaster recovery solution that can replicate a company's computing environment in case of an emergency.

In Singapore, IBM believes the solution will appeal to various industries from oil and gas to media sectors. "Due to its customisability, portability, security and durability, the PMDC presents an enormous opportunity in Singapore for various industries which play a significant role in the growth of this country and across ASEAN per se," said Linus Lee, service line leader, data centre services, global technology services for IBM ASEAN.

Its first customer in ASEAN thus far is an electronics manufacturing company in Malaysia.

Lee added that the containerised data centre market is accelerating as data centre operators are realising the possibilities of a portable, mobile solution. Lee pointed out that even research firm Gartner noted in its briefing last year that such a data centre - designed around power, space, and time efficiency - is the "new-age data centre."

Linus Lee

Linus Lee, service line leader, data centre services, global technology services, IBM ASEAN

Better alternative

The need for faster deployment of data centres is one of the main drivers of the PMDC. Lee said the PMDCC can be deployed anywhere in the world in 12 to 14 weeks alleviating the barriers presented by time and location. "Typically traditional data centres take about six to nine months," he added.  

"Its flexibility makes it ideal for temporary and mobile data centre operations as well as private and public cloud environments," Lee highlighted.  

Regarding energy efficiency, Lee said the PMDC has achieved a PUE (power usage effectiveness) energy efficiency rating of 1.3 "or better". It offers organisations a reduction in energy consumption - and by default operating costs.

In terms of space efficiency, Lee said the PMDC requires up to 50 per cent less space than traditional data centres. They can also be stacked on top of each other as per a shipping container, when space is limited, according to Lee. 

Also akin to a shipping container, the PMDC is environmentally robust, said Lee. "It can withstand rain, dust and extreme temperatures." Lee added that the PMDC can last some 20 years or more, while the optimal lifespan of a traditional data centre ranges from seven to 10 years.

IBM's PMDC is available in three different standard container sizes, 20, 40 and 53 TEU, and the prices range from US$500 000 to US$1 million. Traditional data centre construction costs twice the price, Lee estimated.


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