Three Modular Data Centers that pass the Supply Chain Test - Dell, HP, and Compass DC

Almost everyone in the data center build says they build modular/container data centers.  Uptime says there are 45 suppliers.  Gartner and IDC tell its subscribers that modular should be one of the options they evaluate.  There are no shortage of people who say they can build you a modular data center.

How do you make sense of the marketing hype vs. reality.?

My tip is to get nerdy on the topic of modularity.  The modular approach is a way to address the supply chain.

HP and Dell being experienced OEM Server vendors know supply chain.  Frank Frankovsky at Facebook is ex-Dell and he has taken the Supply Chain ideas into Facebook and passed them on to the Open Compute Project.

Open Compute Shakes Up Server Supply Chain
By: Rich Miller
May 8th, 2012

Jason Waxman of Intel (left) moderated a panel of suppliers who are meeting the Open Compute Project standards. Mike Yang of Quanta and Sohrab Modi of Huawei discussed meeting customers' needs while also addressing cap ex and op ex management.

SAN ANTONIO – There is meaningful change occurring in how servers are designed, built and sold. The disruptions in the server ecosystem were on display at last week’s Open Compute Summit in the rising profile of original design manufacturing (ODM) providers and other alternatives to working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Dell, HP and IBM that have dominated server sales in the U.S.

HP and Dell are both vendors involved in Open Compute.

In discussions with Compass Data Centers's Chris Crosby we have gone into extensive discussions on his supply chain.  So, Compass Data Centers passes this test.

Many Big Brands have supply chain strategies.  Facebook shared some its supply chain practices at the Open Compute Summit.

There are others who may embrace the supply chain approach, but I feel comfortable finding three I can have conversations with - HP, Dell, and Compass Data Centers.

Oh, one problem though if you are looking to use the supply chain test is if you are not experienced at supply chains yourself it can be hard for you to evaluate the suppliers.

When I was getting my degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley, I spent a lot of time studying queueing theory, probability and statistics, markov chains.  I worked at HP in process engineering and distribution logistics.  At Apple I was in distribution logistics and OEM program management for computer peripherals.  So, all this supply chain in data centers is brushing up on things I did full time for years and years.  So, yes i am biased.  i think supply chain in a key to build modular data centers.

Or you believe in Cargo Cult Science and all data centers will be the same.  

Who cares if they are all the same (which they are not ) if you can't build them with a great supply chain your product will have problems with the issues listed below cost, speed, quality, consistency, innovation, global availability.  

The supply chain is what many of these below brands great.