The Case for Data Center Infrastructure Standardization: A Modular Approach

Standardize Your Data Center

What keeps a data center manager up at night? Inefficient, poorly designed systems that slow deployment, hamper scalability, and increase the risk of downtime.

Yet in the rush to meet fast-changing customer demand, many in the industry are creating “customized” solutions that breed inefficiency. Gartner says:

“With the growing range of use cases for colocation, providers will need to design and offer facilities that cover applications ranging from low-density, 4 kW per rack, modestly resilient space, to higher-density offerings, in some cases up to and exceeding 20 kW per rack, as well as applications that require 2N+2 resilience. The risk from the provider’s perspective is that, if they engineer and deliver a data center based on high density or resilience, they may not be able to offer it cost-effectively to potential customers with more modest requirements. They will have potentially stranded capital.” 1

Gartner goes on to say that “if they build out a modestly equipped center, they obviously exclude themselves from consideration by customers with more advanced needs.” 2 In other words, a customized approach comes with risks in both initial implementation and future support of a legacy customization.

What’s the solution? Says Gartner:

“The solution then is to build new data centers in a modular fashion, such that subsets or “chunks” of space can be configured based on customer demand. This will require new models of data center design and build that balance flexibility, cost and expected demand. Although this approach has been used for large “chunks” (such as entire floors or data halls) on a wholesale basis, this modularity extends down to flexible provisioning on a suite basis…” 3

What’s needed then is a standardized, integrated, repeatable data center infrastructure—power/cooling, racks, physical security, etc.—that deploys fast, streamlines management and maintenance, reduces risk, and increases transparency.

See the comprehensive Data Center Checklist with more than 120 criteria to evaluate data centers and colocation providers.

A flexible, configurable, modular standard

To reduce the risk and costs associated with data center migrations and unknown future demand, IO delivers data center as a service @scale allowing you to quickly add capacity as needed instead of over- or under-provisioning. This full-stack transparency accelerates IO service delivery through a flexible, configurable, modular standard that can be rapidly deployed to meet any need. Instead of customizing solutions, IO configures environments.

IO pioneered this modular approach so that the entire data center infrastructure platform—power, cooling, compute, and physical security—can be flexibly configured to meet your needs. These modular data centers typically consist of standardized components that are transparent and visible to each other and to the operator.

How a modular data center benefits you

  • Fast deployment – With standardized components, configuration is fast, allowing modular data centers to be quickly deployed anywhere capacity is needed. And, as your business grows and needs change, you’ll easily be able to scale up for the future—without massive upfront costs or data center expansions.
  • Streamlined management and maintenance – Managing and maintaining a data center infrastructure consisting of non-standardized components can be difficult at best. With standardized components, maintenance is streamlined—saving time and money.
  • Reduced risk – Standardized data center components mean that our technicians innately know these data center modules inside and out, reducing errors due to lack of knowledge—a common issue with customized solutions.
  • Increased transparency – With modular, standardized and integrated data centers, everything works the same and is known to everyone. Data center managers can focus their resources more on supporting you and your data center than on fixing infrastructure issues. In fact, our experienced data center managers foster a culture of excellence and IO’s Jason Pfaff has been recognized as AFCOM Data Center Manager of the Year.

Meritage Homes wanted a provider that was flexible and could quickly scale to meet the changing demands of their business. CIO Chris Filandro commented: “We were looking for a provider that was focused on providing enterprise-grade data center space, power and network access – IO had it all.” Read the case study.

To find out how a standardized, integrated data center infrastructure can help power your business, schedule a tour at one of IO’s data centers.


“Eight Trends Will Shape the Colocation Market in 2016,” Gartner, #G00299639, 01/20/2016.
“Eight Trends Will Shape the Colocation Market in 2016,” Gartner, #G00299639, 01/20/2016.
“Eight Trends Will Shape the Colocation Market in 2016,” Gartner, #G00299639, 01/20/2016.


DISCLAIMER: This document is for reference purposes only. The information contained herein should not be relied on and neither IO Data Centers, LLC nor any of its affiliates makes any warranties or representations as to its accuracy.