They allow customers to add extra compute capacity quickly, if a data center expansion project is behind schedule, for example. They're also used in remote locations, by the military and other customers.
Like SGI, more and more vendors are moving away from standard shipping containers. I/o Data Centers, one of the newer entrants to the market, said a few months ago it would sell custom-built portable data centers.
SGI recommends the air-cooled models for all customers unless they need to transport them long distances, in which case it will continue to sell the more rugged standard shipping containers.
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