How the IO Data Center Solution Delivers Truly Scalable Capacity

By 2020, the amount of information processed online – the global “digital universe” – is estimated to be ten times its 2013 size. The business expects IT as a service. IT complexity is rapidly increasing. Big data. IoT. Demand for computing capacity is rising fast, and there’s no indication that rise will abate. How do you respond?

You could colocate in a traditional raised-floor environment hoping you can scale in a year. But in a year there’s no more space in the data center – so you can’t scale horizontally (expand your current footprint). The colocation provider had promised you could have more power, so you could scale vertically (densify your current footprint). Bad news, though, it turns out that the raised-floor environment was designed to support just 5 kW per rack, and it’s already maxed out. Now, you risk falling behind your competitors – you can’t keep pace because you can’t scale your digital infrastructure.

Or, you colocate in traditional raised-floor environment but provision for potential future needs. That’s a rational response in that it does mitigate the risk, but it also creates a lot of waste – wasted energy, and wasted dollars because you’re overprovisioning today.

There is another alternative – a truly scalable data center.

Data center capacity

Where a traditional raised-floor data center environment forces over-provisioning to mitigate future scale risk, the IO data center solution enables right-size/right-time deployment: buy a data center footprint and expand within it as your needs expand. And that drives efficiency.

In an IO data center, the need for additional capacity can be solved in two ways:

  1. By scaling vertically – increasing density within the same data center footprint (i.e., filling in empty space in cabinets and/or refreshing with more powerful hardware)
  2. By scaling horizontally – expanding your data center footprint (i.e., adding more racks)

Data center capacity

How the IO data center solution makes vertical scalability (densification) easy

1. The modular data center supports higher densities.

IO’s modular data centers are able to accommodate far higher densities than traditional raised-floor data centers. The typical data center can only support an average of 5 kW per rack. Yet it is relatively common to see modular data centers with 20-25 kW per rack supported across all racks.

Case study: CBS Interactive explains why they selected IO for high-density colocation. (Read it on page 9 of Cutting through the hype – How the IO data center solution delivers truly scalable capacity)

2. In mixed-density environment, you can match density to application requirements.

It’s not always efficient to deploy all applications in a modular data center. A mixed-density solution allows you to deploy applications that demand medium- or high-density in a module and deploy low-density applications in a cabinet or cage on raised floor in the same data center.

How the IO data center solution makes horizontal scalability (expansion) easy

1. The more space the data center has, the more room you have to scale.

The more space the data center has, the more room you have to grow. And when you have room to grow, you don’t have to buy and hoard. That’s why the fastest growing segment of the multi-tenant data center market is the “mega” data center. IO has some of the biggest data centers in the world. (See Datacenter Dynamics article on IO New Jersey)

2. The faster new capacity can be deployed, the faster you can scale.

If you’re colocating in a modular data center and a new module has to be deployed, or
if your raised-floor data center has land
but not built-out space, then you can grow within the same data center, but you’ll have to wait for the new capacity to be deployed. When you’re in a traditional raised-floor data center that wait will likely be a year. When you’re in a modular data center, in contrast, a new module can be deployed in as few as 120 days. (Watch it for yourself here)

3. Burst workloads into on-premises private cloud.

The IO data center solution offers a private cloud directly connected inside the data center. Then the time to deploy new capacity can be measured in seconds. That hybrid solution is particularly ideal when workloads are not predictable – if you need to quickly, unpredictably scale capacity up and down, a private cloud directly connected to your own infrastructure delivers that flexible scale.

How the IO data center solution enables capacity planning – DCIM

Easy vertical and horizontal scalability and the ability to burst workloads into the cloud are nice but not much use if you don’t know when – and where – you need to scale. A data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tool backed by robust analytics can help you predict when you’ll need additional capacity.

The benefit of DCIM is to provide a single view of data center assets, even across multiple data centers. With that single view, data center operators can optimize their decisions. And by adding predictive analysis to that visibility, IO’s DCIM allows operators to more efficiently allocate current resources, identify capacity bottlenecks, and anticipate future resource needs.


Want to know more?

Whether you’re planning to colocate for the first time, or are looking for a new colocation provider, our new Solution Guide will help you understand how the IO data center solution solves your capacity needs better than the status quo. Get it here: Cutting through the hype – How the IO data center solution delivers truly scalable capacityData center capacityFounded in 2007, IO provides the data center as a service to businesses and governments around the world. With data centers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore, IO delivers vertical and horizontal scalability – a data center solution that flexes with your business. We approach data center as a service from the customer’s perspective, to deliver data center solutions that fit the challenges today and tomorrow – for results that are predictable and scalable over the long term. Learn more at

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.