Datacenter in a Box – The future of IT

June 22nd, 2016

In this interview, Dr. Jens Struckmeier, CTO from Cloud&Heat Technologies, talks about the trends of modular data centers and about what makes the Cloud&Heat Datacenter in a Box solution uniquely.

Many companies wonder whether they should outsource their IT or operate own server rooms. In your opinion, what would be the pros and cons of these two options?

Jens: Most companies do not wonder whether to outsource their computing power, but rather how and to what extent. I think, the trend to outsource the whole or at least parts of the own computing power into the Cloud is already in the company’s minds. Main reasons for outsourcing are that computing power can be booked needs-based and that the datacenter, in which the data is processed, is operated by a professional management and its security standards are kept up-to-date. Topics such as data secrecy or the location, in which data is stored, are reasons speaking against outsourcing of data. In my experience, company managers like to have their hardware on-site, just like the motto “Here’s my data, here’s my datacenter, here’s the heart of my company.” Thus, they get the feeling to get better control of the hardware and to shield it against others.

What parameters offer the most improvement potential when it comes to building and operating datacenters?

Jens: When building datacenters huge costs occur for facility and infrastructure, the IT hardware as well as for current operating costs, such as for energy for the servers and cooling. Exactly those issues are addressed by our energy saving solutions.

For small and medium sized companies, the above mentioned gap can be closed pretty easily with your in-house solution, the so-called „Datacenter in a Box“. What is the advantage of a Datacenter in a Box compared to classical datacenters?

Jens: With one or several datacenter in a box components SME can build up their own modular micro datacenter very easily and fast. Costs can be saved due to perfectly matched components. If desired, it is not only possible to install proven software but also a modern cloud infrastructure based on OpenStack. A datacenter based on DiaB convinces by its modular structure and the possibility of scalability – companies can start with one and can merge up to 100 or more DiaBs to one big datacenter. Our solution can be installed besides existing solutions and services can be integrated step-by-step.

Modular datacenters are nothing entirely new, there are a few providers already.  What is the advantage of the Cloud&Heat Datacenter in a Box solution compared to other micro datacenters available on the market?

Jens: First of all, the Cloud&Heat datacenter saves at different points: For example concerning the building, as our DiaB ist more robust than classical server racks and, thus, does not need a special datacenter or server room. It can rather be operated in conventional basements or ancillary rooms of the company. Furthermore, air-conditioning is not necessary, which decreases electricity costs drastically. We also offer to make use of the generated waste heat of the servers to heat the office building and to warm up water – and all this at comparable investment costs caused by conventional datacenters.

What are the challenges arising when selling a product like “Datacenter in a Box”?

Jens: IT managers want to make sure, that their IT systems work smoothly and reliably and fall therefore still back to notorious solutions with proven suppliers. In practice, we show that it is exactly the Cloud&Heat Datacenter in a Box solution which offers the needed reliability and that we can assure and take over the operation completely. With experiences since 2012 as well the reliable operation of our innovative water cooling, we assure an enormousely good energy efficiency. This is the future of IT. This solution is an already established technolgy in other industrial area, but we have the most progressive one. Here, we have benefit for five years.

What are the benefits of the Cloud&Heat Datacenter in a Box?

Performance components

  • number of servers: up to 20 server blades
  • CPU: dual socket Intel Xeon E5-2600
    2×4 to 2×22 cores
  • RAM: DDR4-1600/1866/2133 ECC, 8 modules and
    up to 512 GB per server
  • Server Storage: 1 to 2 SSDs per server, up to 2×1,6 TB
  • Storage: up to 450 TB HDD
  • Netzwork: 2×1 Gbps or 2×10 Gbps Ethernet per server
  • Intel® Software Guard Extensions (optional)

Thermal performance data

  • up to 5 kW heating power per rack
  • Flow temperature warm water: up to 55 °C
  • Integrated standby cooler
  • Redundant water cooling
  • Automatic regulation and control
    as well as failure safety

Cooling with water temperatures of 5 to 50 °C possible
-> Classical compression systems can can be eliminated completely

Franziska Büttner Marketing Manager at Cloud&Heat.