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What is a Micro Data Center?

Jun 15th, 2018

The world of data centers is changing. Data centers once referred specifically to buildings, or at least floors of buildings, covered in racks, servers, and other hardware. Conceptualizing anything else seemed a bit far-fetched. But today the face of data centers continues to shift and change, and now modular data centers and micro data centers are becoming one of the trends everyone’s talking about. And it’s talk that should be taken seriously. According to a report published by Markets and Markets, micro data centers will be a $6.3 billion business by the year 2020. That’s a massive jump from the $1.7 billion the industry saw in 2015, and in just five years!

So what exactly is a micro data center?

As their name suggests, micro data centers might be the smallest data centers of them all – for the time-being, anyway. These data centers are not buildings at all or even, like modular data centers, portable container-like structures. Micro data centers are stand-alone racks very similar to the server racks used by data centers, but there are significant differences.

While they may look alike, micro data centers are so much more than a typical server rack. While a rack inside of a data center is just part of that center, the rack that encompasses a micro data center is the data center. They’re equipped with on-board cooling, storage systems, telecommunication operations, full security measures, fire suppression systems, and of course, a power supply equipped to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Micro data centers also have the edge over server racks in the way that they are covered by an impenetrable cover. That, along with the casters found at the bottom, make micro data centers perfect for storing outside, or even in rough terrain. To make installation even easier, some micro data centers are also equipped with self-propulsion capabilities.

One of the reasons micro data centers are bound to become even more popular is because they’re the perfect match for businesses that want to purchase and maintain their own server, but don’t want to be constantly traveling back and forth to a data center. By using a micro data center, businesses can have their data center right in the office, which is even more convenient for those that also utilize in-house IT staff.

There’s no doubt that the world of data centers is changing. While they were once considered relatively large pieces of infrastructure, full of complicated hardware and technology, data centers are becoming much more accessible. Micro data centers bridge the gap between website owners and data centers even more so.