How to choose the right micro data centre for your environment


Businesses are increasingly turning to micro data centres (MDCs) to support their decentralised IT infrastructure or to replace traditional on-premise server rooms. However, choosing the right micro data centre for your specific location and environment is crucial to ensure seamless operations and optimal performance.

 At Zella DC, we offer a range of micro data centres in various sizes to suit any circumstances; in this blog we will discuss the main points you need to take into considerations when selecting the right model for your needs.

Rack space. How much rack space will you need? The MDC should be large enough to accommodate all essential equipment, including servers, networking devices, storage solutions, etc. When you buy a Zella Pro the available rack space will vary depending on how many additional items you choose (i.e. fire protection, UPS, etc.) so you need to keep that in mind before you finalise your purchase. 

Fire protection. Fire safety is a paramount concern for any data centre environment. Fire-resistant materials and proper ventilation are helpful to limit potential damage, but a fire protection system will give you piece of mind. We offer our customers the option to add a Pyrorack fire protection system to their chosen micro data centre - this will come pre-installed and ready to use. 

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). To prevent data loss and maintain uptime during power outages, a reliable UPS system is crucial. If your MDC will be installed in an area with unstable power connection where frequent power outages are a regular occurrence, you will want to add a UPS that offers sufficient power backup and that can handle the load of your critical infrastructure. We offer our customers the option to add a UPS to their MDC - this will come pre-installed and ready to use. 

Power availability: Assess the power availability at the chosen location for your micro data centre. Ensure that the facility can handle the power demands of your IT equipment without risk of overload or frequent outages. If you want to use a renewable source of energy, you will benefit from a DC powered MDC: DC power is compatible with renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, second-generation clean biomass, and innovative, low-cost fuel cell designs. This means integration with alternative sources of energy will be greatly streamlined.

Dual cooling. Heat management is critical in MDCs due to their compact nature, especially for sites in hot climates. All our MDCs have an integrated precision cooling system, with the option to upgrade to a dual cooling system to ensure redundancy and efficient heat dissipation. This will help maintain optimal operating temperatures for your IT equipment, protecting your assets, data, and uptime. 

Condenser location. The location of the condenser for the cooling system is crucial. It should be positioned optimally to draw in fresh air while expelling hot air efficiently. A well-placed condenser contributes to overall energy efficiency and cooling performance. The condenser should also not be placed too far from the MDC so you should plan your MDC location carefully.

Size of room / location. Consider the physical space available for your MDC. Our micro data centres are designed to fit through standard doors, but if your area is particularly tight or hard to reach  you may need to choose one of our smaller models. Either way you won't need a dedicated space as our MDCs are compact, fully sealed, and whisper quiet; this means they can be placed in close proximity to desks, in a reception area, or even in a meeting room.

Indoor or outdoor. The decision to place your micro data centre indoors or outdoors depends on your specific use case and environmental factors. Indoor setups generally offer better protection from harsh weather conditions, but outdoor deployments might be necessary for certain edge computing scenarios. Zella Hut, our outdoor MDC, is perfect for highly distributed edge networks. Alternatively, we also offer a containerised solution, Zella Max - this is ideal for bigger outdoor edge deployments. 

Multiple locations. If you plan to deploy multiple MDCs across various locations, investing in robust software to manage and monitor these units centrally is essential. The management software should enable remote access, real-time performance monitoring, and proactive maintenance capabilities. Talk to one of our specialists to find out more about our DCIM software options.

Portability. Finally, consider the possibility of relocating your MDC in the future. If you need an MDC for temporary or transient use, you may want to opt for our Rapid option: this is a Zella Pro with a pre-commissioned condenser mounted on a detachable tray. The Zella Pro Rapid hat can be easily relocated and doesn't require any installation. Having said that, the Zella Pro is also easy to relocate - certainly much easier than a traditional on-premise server room!

Selecting the right micro data centre for your environment is crucial to ensuring high-performance, reliability, and scalability. Evaluate factors specific to your location and situation such as rack size, fire protection, UPS, software management, cooling, location, and power availability before making your decision. Our experts will be able to help you throughout your selection process - get in touch to start the process. 

A well-planned and thoughtfully chosen micro data centre will not only meet your current edge computing needs but also future-proof your infrastructure for years to come.

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