One way to think about the old way of data center construction is like a McMansion.
The term is generally used to denote a multi-story house of no clear architectural style, with a larger footprint than existing homes
Bigger was better.
You could look at Containers as the mobile home brought to data centers. Google started the movement with its Container data centers.
There are now Container data centers from most Server OEMs, data center engineering and construction companies.
Why does a Container approach make sense? Consider this cnet news article on Tiny Green Homes.
Building a green empire, one Tiny House at a time
This is a Tumbleweed Tiny House, part of a collection of more than 20 designs of houses that are small, energy- and materials-efficient, and which emphasize a smart use of space.
(Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET)
GRATON, Calif.--As most people know, a major reason for the current housing meltdown was millions of people buying homes far bigger than they needed, let alone could afford. To Jay Shafer, the answer is tiny.
One way to be Green is to be in a smaller space. A container is a much smaller white space for data centers, and can be a bit claustrophobic.
The question is, who exactly would want to live in a house where you can nearly reach your arms from one side to the other?
For Shafer, it's pretty clear: it's people who are interested in a simple, green lifestyle. These days, the term "green" is thrown about left and right and often means little, but in the case of Tiny Houses, green living is a direct reflection of a choice to live very efficiently, with the minimum amount of unused space, materials, and energy. "I think that's the greenest green thing you can do," Shafer says, "buy less."
Being in a tiny home requires a different philosophy.
A big part of what Shafer sells is his philosophy--that too much space is a waste, and that, for some people, at least, it's not only possible but actually preferable, to live in a home that emphasizes efficiency and thoughtfulness.
Running servers in containers requires a different philosophy as well. How many people are resistant to containers in data centers because they are used to their McMansions?
How much space do you need?
Personally, my family of 4 and a dog have been living in 850 sq ft for over a year while we rebuild our house. Learning to live in smaller space requires a reprioritization of many things.
Can your servers live in a Tiny Green Data Center?
Keep in mind not all of your IT needs to live in tiny data center space. it is a place that your low cost energy efficient highest volume servers though would not complain as they are surrounded amongst all their peers, and they consume a fraction of the other equipment who needs to live in McMansion.