New Zealand’s IT Power has unveiled what it believes is the first New Zealand developed ‘data centre in a box’ solution, offering an 'affordable and flexible' data centre offering.
The power protection and cooling specialists have launched a fully portable data centre, housed within the world’s most broadly adopted industry standard – the ISO shipping container.
IT Power custom manufactures each Datablok, starting with 10, 20, 40 or 45 foot ISO shipping containers and installing access, insulation, power, cooling, security and remote management/monitoring as required.
Fault tolerance, rack power density, internal configuration and other specific client needs are all incorporated into the final design.
“The result is a data centre that can be transported anytime, anywhere in the world and stored in any environment: hot, cold, wet or dry,” IT Power says. The Datablok has the added advantage of being shock-proof, seismically-restrained and fire resistant.
Jason Lewis, IT Power director, says Datablok costs a fraction of similar solutions from multi-national vendors, with pricing from $100,000 compared to $1 million for similar from a multi-national.
“The other advantage is that unlike many multi-national vendors, when it comes to the components, we’re vendor agnostic,” Lewis says.
He says the Datablok offers best of breed and fit-for-purpose hardware, locally supported and in whatever layout a customer requires.
Lewis says Datablok is expected to appeal to a range of customers, including those who need to free up office space and those who need to be able to take the data centre with them – whether to particular events such as sporting events or movie making, or because they’re preparing to move to new offices and don’t want to invest in a data centre within the current building.
“There’s an advantage in not utilising valuable office space for a data centre,” Lewis says, noting that moving a data centre from a building into a 20-foot container frees up space for eight to 10 desks.
“That can mean in the difference in a company having to move to new premises, or being able to remain where they are,” Lewis says. The Datablok can then be housed in a warehouse, or outside in a carpark or on a rooftop.
Oil and gas exploration customers are also a key target for Datablok.
Datablok’s first customer, Hawkes Bay communications provider Unison, opted for the offering because ‘it was more cost effective than moving the data centre within our current building, and gave additional benefits of being external to the main site', says Unison chief information officer Mike McGarvey.
While the Datablok’s portability wasn’t a prime consideration for Unison, McGarvey says it will offer benefits in the event something goes wrong at the principal site, allowing the company to move the container, without having to rebuild a server room.
Lewis says New Zealand and Asia Pacific organisations are already expressing an interest in the Datablok from a risk management perspective. The unit can be raised and placed on seismic restraint pads to protect core services from seismic events, liquefaction and flooding.