Race to the Edge
Have hyperscale, will travel: How the next data center revolution starts in a toolshed
Where we discover the form factor for a portable, potentially hyperscale data center, small enough to fit in the service shed beside a cellphone tower, multiplied by tens of thousands.
Within an industrial park in a major metropolitan US city, in the midst of an excavation project on one side and a bit of road construction on the other, rests a spotlessly clean, unmarked metal shed. If it were a garage, you could maybe park five cars in it. There’s no activity here at the moment, but your first clue that it’s not abandoned is the continual presence of security.
It’s likely not the first image that springs to mind, or even the twelfth or fifteenth, when you consider what the touchpoint for the next revolution in information technology should look like. You might be more likely to conjure Apple’s brilliant new, spaceship-like headquarters, one of Salesforce’s new skyscrapers, one of Digital Realty’s sprawling co-location complexes, or perhaps Microsoft’s colossal, 700,000 square foot Azure complex outside of Chicago. Usually when one thinks of something in “hyperscale,” one pictures very big, very solid, objects.
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