Digital Realty Trust Unveils Next-Generation Datacenter Design & Construction Methodology
(The Hosting News) – Digital Realty Trust, Inc., a leading global wholesale datacenter provider, has unveiled the next generation of its POD Architecture – the unique methodology the Company utilizes to design and build raised-floor datacenter space using a modular approach that speeds delivery, advances energy efficiency, maximizes reliability and lowers costs for its customers. Digital Realty Trust’s POD Architecture 2.0SM advances the modular approach to datacenter design by fabricating and assembling the electric room components offsite, enabling Digital Realty Trust to reduce the construction timeline for its Turn-Key Datacenter product by several weeks. At the same time, POD Architecture 2.0 continues Digital Realty Trust’s focus on providing customers with flexible solutions that meet their exact needs and specifications.
“When we introduced POD Architecture a few years ago, we were able to reduce the construction timeline from the traditional 24-month construction period to less than 26 weeks to deliver a data center. It was a milestone in the industry at the time because of the way we used standardization and incremental development as core design principles,” said Jim Smith, Chief Technology Officer of Digital Realty Trust. “Today we have taken everything we have learned from delivering dozens of projects over the years to develop the next generation of our POD Architecture. By utilizing our POD 2.0 design, we can often deliver the datacenter ahead of the time it takes customers to build rack and cable infrastructure or have networks delivered to the new facility.”
The centerpiece of POD Architecture 2.0 is the pre-fabrication and inventorying of major electrical and mechanical systems that traditionally stand directly in the critical path of datacenter construction projects. Digital Realty Trust has begun manufacturing, cabling and commissioning the mechanical/cooling systems and electrical systems of its Turn-Key Datacenters® off-site. These prefabricated components are then delivered to datacenter facilities at the appropriate window in the construction timeline. This allows activities that previously needed to be done sequentially to be done concurrently, with on-site construction proceeding unabated while pre-fabrication of specific components occurs off-site. POD Architecture 2.0 also includes a number of additional best practices, enhanced protocols and improved techniques that increase reliability, flexibility and quality. Digital Realty Trust has been testing elements of the POD Architecture 2.0 methodology since January 2010 in a number of U.S. and European sites. Pre-fabricated components are manufactured in a factory environment and then warehoused for on-time delivery to project sites. The cooling and electrical systems are pre-commissioned in the factory and then re-commissioned along with the completed datacenter.
“This construction methodology is not about producing pre-fab datacenters or containerized solutions. Nor is this a prototype. Utilizing POD 2.0, we have already delivered 3375 kilowatts in 2010, expect to deliver 2250 kilowatts by early April, and have between 12 and 20 megawatts in our project pipeline in 2011. On a capital expenditure basis, this equates to $30 million of current investment and up to $100 million for 2011,” added Mr. Smith. “By pre-assembling electrical and mechanical room components, while retaining the flexibility that customers require of a customized datacenter, our new POD 2.0 once again puts Digital Realty Trust customers at the forefront of datacenter development innovation.”
POD Architecture 2.0 reduces the delivery time for Turn-Key Datacenters in the Company’s Powered Base Buildings® Plus (PBB+) facilities. The new methodology also reduces the construction costs of datacenter projects by an estimated 10-20 percent, a significant savings for these capital-intensive projects. POD Architecture 2.0 also produces superior datacenters that feature higher energy efficiency (including LEED- compliant design and PUE ratings of 1.5 or lower) and other enhancements.
“Over the past decade there has been a disruption in the way data centers are planned, architected and built. In the past, it was very common for these projects to be done in a one-off fashion by teams who only tackled these projects once every several years and were not versed in the latest best practices and most efficient design principles. As a result, it was very common for data center projects to face a multitude of problems – including, very lengthy development delays,” said Michelle Bailey, Research Vice President for IDC’s Datacenter Trends Programs. “New methodologies and blueprints have emerged that significantly shorten time to market for datacenter construction and result in greater levels of predictability and lower risk. Digital Realty Trust has been a leader in furthering the science of datacenter development, and POD Architecture 2.0 further integrates prefabrication and other best practices into the heart of the design and construction process.”
“The datacenter industry is moving to modularity with the goal of shrinking build/delivery times while reducing costs, but nobody yet has deployed modularity at significant scale,” said Jeff Paschke, senior datacenter analyst for Tier1 Research. “The next generation of datacenters is expected to become modular, pre-fabricated and industrialized consisting of off-the-shelf pieces rather than totally customized builds every time. We see modularity becoming a game changer that will dramatically reduce datacenter build times.”
About Digital Realty Trust, Inc.
Digital Realty Trust, Inc. enables customers to deliver critical business applications by providing secure, reliable and cost effective datacenter facilities. Digital Realty Trust’s customers include domestic and international companies across multiple industry verticals ranging from information technology and Internet enterprises, to manufacturing and financial services. Digital Realty Trust’s 96 properties, excluding two properties held as investments in unconsolidated joint ventures, comprise approximately 16.8 million square feet as of February 18, 2011, including 2.2 million square feet of space held for redevelopment. Digital Realty Trust’s portfolio is located in 28 markets throughout Europe, North America and Singapore. Additional information about Digital Realty Trust is included in the Company Overview, which is available on the Investors page of Digital Realty Trust’s website at http://www.digitalrealtytrust.com
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