After Sun, Google, and Microsoft, tech giant Intel is considering the advantages of developing portable data centers.
The cost of building a new data center is extremely high — between $40 million and $60 million. As an alternative, we are considering placing high-density servers on racks in a container similar to those you see on container ships and trucks. We estimate that the same server capacity in this container solution will reduce facility costs by 30 percent to 50 percent versus a brick-and-mortar installation. Because it's a small, contained environment, cooling costs are far less than for traditional data centers. Even if we build a warehouse-like structure to house the containers (thus addressing security and environmental concerns), the cost is dramatically less per square foot. In fact, the difference is so great that with this solution, brick-and-mortar data centers may become a thing of the past.
Sun Microsystems with its BlackBox, Google with its patent on a portable datacenter design, and Microsoft with its concept of a mobile data center are all on the brink of evolving mobile data center solutions.