FOCUS on MODULARITY
Active Power racks up sale to the US military
In November Active Power received nearly US$5m in orders for its PowerHouse container, including one to the US military
These orders were made in conjunction with one of Active Power’s strategic IT partners and will support containerized data center applications for the end users. Active Power has relationships with HP and Oracle. The company said the systems will ship before the end of 2010. One of the customers anticipates having its solution operational by year’s end and installation for the other customer is anticipated in early 2011.
The PowerHouse system sold to a branch of the US military will contain Active Power’s high efficiency CleanSource UPS
(uninterruptible power supply) system; switchgear; and monitoring and controls software. The containerized data center and its associated PowerHouse system will support command, control and communication systems onsite.
The second order is for two PowerHouse systems both containing a diesel generator; CleanSource UPS systems; switchgear; and monitoring and controls software. In addition to this equipment, Active Power will also provide two containerized generators.
“The preassembled and pretested data center and its associated power and cooling infrastructure continues to become more mainstream, particularly among large IT
and server OEM companies,” said Martin Olsen, Vice President of Global Channels and Business Development for Active Power. “It all comes down to a much lower total cost of ownership with this modular approach versus the component by component build out of a monolithic data center.”
Earlier this year the company announced US$6m of international PowerHouse sales.
PDI brings i-Con to market
PDI has entered the container solution market with its i-Con product
The company’s CTO and VP of Engineering Tim Cortes said PDI decided to enter the market because of rising demand for solutions that offer modularity and mobility, speed of deployment, flexible configurations, energy efficiency and the ability to deploy multiple levels of redundancy in data center facilities.
The design team aimed to treat the solution as a full data center facility inside a container, including everything from IT racks to fire suppression, power, cooling and a comprehensive monitoring and management system. Other key aims in the design were to provide a high level of modularity for all components within the container itself and to emphasize serviceability.
Vlad Gulkarov, PDI’s director of container development, said the company had observed three basic emphases in various existing container designs: availability, flexibility and modularity. Serviceability was not typically stressed and thus became one of the key differentiating factors for i-Con. The boxes come in varying sizes.
With a 40-ft unit as a baseline, PDI provides a 20-ft version and a 53-ft one. Custom 10-ft options are also possible. As different customers may have different height restrictions, the vendor also provides containers of different heights: 9.5 ft and 8 ft.
The baseline 40-ft container can have a maximum of 14 IT racks, but what goes inside is completely customizable, so a customer can, for example, have less than
14 racks and use the remaining space for infrastructure components, such as UPS, static switches or PDU.
The units are outfitted with standard 36-inch- deep racks. While the racks are standard, the way they are attached to the floor is not. Each rack is placed on rails, which allows for sliding it back and forth for ease of access for maintenance. This is part of the design’s emphasis on serviceability.
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