Real Estate Developer Builds Space For Containerized Data Center Modules

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A real estate developer which also builds data centers has found a twist on that market by providing space for containerized modules instead of complete IT infrastructures.

Pelio & Associates, a Saratoga, Calif.-based real estate developer, has opened a new data center in Santa Clara, Calif., named after its address, 1101 Space Park.

However, instead of gradually filling the 50,000-square-foot building with racks of IT equipment, 1101 Space Park is pretty much an open area designed to accept preconfigured data center modules built into 40-foot and 20-foot containers.

The new facility is different from the company's 10 existing data centers, all built within a quarter-mile of each other, said Jon Shank, an owner of Pelio & Associates.

The company typically buys the land, builds the building, and starts filling it with IT equipment for one or two tenants and up, Shank said.

However, with 1101 Space Park, the company is going completely modular, giving it the flexibility to scale in size as customers need.

"We build the infrastructure and provide the power and cooling," he said. "We make sure customers then get the best solution possible, tailored to their needs."

That solution includes a containerized data center module from companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, or whichever vendor the customer requires, Shank said.

Customers don't want to pay for a 50,000-square-foot facility just to flip the switch on two or three racks of servers, storage, and networking gear, said Les Pelio, another owner of Pelio & Associates. By using containerized data center modules, customers only have to pay for what they need, and get almost instant access to the new IT resources, Pelio said.

This is a huge shift in data center development, one that shows that the concept of data centers is still in its infancy, Pelio said.

"We just provide the power and connectivity," he said. "Our solution is agnostic to the vendors. It's very simple for us. We provide the space and plug-ins. Whatever the customer wants to use, they just bring it in. The first modular container came in by truck and was ready to go in one hour."

Using containerized data center modules is really all about providing total cost of ownership to data center customers, Pelio said.


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