Dell has been relatively quiet about its modular data-center products, but on Aug 31st, it showed off a new design it has started selling to large "hyperscale" customers, which include big Internet firms like Microsoft and Facebook. Dell's latest model does away with the container and instead houses 12 standard server racks in two rows within a steel skeletal structure, with a central aisle for servicing. Three or four of the structures can be "snapped" together depending on how much compute capacity is required, according to Dell.
The power and cooling units are also modular. The cooling units attach to top of the structure and can be evaporative or water-based, depending on what works best in local climate. A redundant power supply hooks onto end. "We're delivering these units in production to a few customers," said Steve Schuckenbrock of Dell, at VMworld in San Francisco.
"Infrastructure is going to change as we build out these public and private clouds," Schuckenbrock said. "Data centers are going to evolve dramatically."