Nearly 200MW of IT load capacity is estimated to currently be housed in containerized or modular data centers around the globe. With growth of new shipments estimated at roughly 20% for 2015, the installed base figure will grow to between 250MW and 300MW by the end of the year, making containerized and modular data centers account for 1% of the total data center IT load estimated. These findings are from a new report by IHS, Containerized and Modular Data Centers – 2015, that defines this market to include products that are “prefabricated, fully enclosed, mobile structures that house data center infrastructure.”
Liz Cruz, the report author, explains that “while 1% may seem like a small number to some, it should be remembered that containerized data centers have only been commercially offered for a few years, and we’re looking at its penetration of all data center IT load globally, which IHS currently estimates to be nearing 30,000MW. So a measly 1% ends up being an annual market worth almost three-quarters of a billion dollars.”
The installed base of containerized and modular data centers, as measured in IT load capacity, is projected to grow at a nearly 30% CAGR over the next five years. A wider swath of customers has become aware of the benefits of containerized and modular data centers, leading to increased adoption in recent years. The appeal of these units includes speed of deployment, outsourced data center design, mobility, offsite manufacturing, a single point of control for all systems, and potential tax and real estate cost reductions.
In addition to the hyperscale customers who helped to popularize the idea of putting thousands of servers in one mobile enclosure, the market now includes an increasing number of innovative and niche uses for these products. One recent example is a project by a Phoenix-area public utility which plans to deploy a containerized data center near one of its generation plants in order to provide power directly from a bulk transmission line, thereby negating the need for a backup generator.
Though the market has a high growth projection over the next five years, Cruz explains that “it will likely be 2025 or later before containerized data centers will account for as much as 5% of the total IT load capacity, and it is not expected that penetration will ever move much beyond that mark. So while containerized data centers are currently growing at a much faster rate than traditional ones, they will always remain a comparatively small portion of the market.”
IHS regularly analyzes all aspects of the data center infrastructure market. Containerized and Modular Data Centers - 2015 provides in-depth analysis across three world regions: the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. Unit shipments, average unit prices, and revenues are estimated for 2014 and forecast through 2019. The market is segmented by region, product type, vertical market, and IT load rating. Supplier market share estimates are presented, and an analysis of the competitive environment is also provided.