Micro data centres are becoming more and more popular and they are sold by many companies worldwide, but unfortunately not all micro data centres on the market are the real deal. In many cases the product on offer lacks critical elements and it's not the all-in-one solution you would expect.
So what is a true micro data centre? Well, if anybody knows, that's us. After all, we trademarked the term 'MDC' over ten years ago, when we first started out in the industry. We know that a lot of companies are offering products that claim to be something they are not. So, how can you tell the difference?
What is a true micro data centre
A TRUE micro data centre, by definition, needs to include all of the following features.
Can be placed anywhere
It can be placed anywhere, so it doesn't need a purpose built room or environment. This means it can easily be placed in an office, retail environment, mining site or just about anywhere else.
It includes active cooling with no air coming in or coming out. Passive cooling, like a fan that blows the hot air out of the unit, is not enough to keep the unit constantly at the right temperature, plus it would make it impossible to place it in an office environment.
Physical security to keep out unwanted visitors. This will depend on the micro data centre, but it should have a secure and protected way to open the door and be resistant to physical attacks.
As the servers within the micro data centre will be communicating with external computers or the cloud, cyber security protocols need to be included to keep your data safe and protected from cyber attacks.
A built-in switchboard for quick and easy power connection.
A rack mounted PDU (Power Distribution Unit) to control and monitor power to servers, switches and the other devices to assist in balancing power loads.
A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to protect your uptime. This will ensure your sensitive equipment is not damaged by power surges or other power quality issues
DCIM (Data Centre Information Management) software, used to monitor, measure, and manage all the components in the micro data centre including IT equipment and supporting infrastructure.
Built in fire protection specific for electronic equipment. When the fire protection is built in, it will react faster and extinguish the fire in a matter of seconds.
Finally, cable management is also an essential feature of a real micro data centre to facilitate installation and maintenance and to ensure the health and safety of your work force.
If any of these features are missing, then you're just buying a box to put your servers in, but then you will be faced with more expenses as you'll have to add the missing elements.
If you want to switch to a micro data centre because you want to avoid the complexities and costs of a traditional server room, because you need to complement your cloud data storage solution, or to implement your edge strategy, then you need to make sure you're buying a TRUE micro data centre, that includes all the essential features you will need to keep your data safe and secure and your network up and running with minimal downtime.