The Drive Towards Global Modular Data Centre Growth in 2024

This year anticipates an increase in scalable modular data centres as the demand for AI and cloud-based technologies continues to challenge the industry

The data centre sector has seen a huge shift towards the cloud, in addition to increased adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), resulting in an ever-growing demand for data storage.

In this way, modular data centres are valuable because they can maximise energy efficiency, enable rapid deployment and increase computing density. This type of data centre is helping organisations to augment or upgrade existing data centre infrastructure with IT, electrical and mechanical units.

To ensure that data and storage needs are met, data centre companies are having to improve their sustainable practices and continue to scale.

Meeting the requirements of the modern data centre

Modular data centre solutions are gaining popularity due to their ability to deliver high computing power at a low power usage effectiveness (PUE) level. In addition, these solutions can work to improve operations and reduce expenses as a result.

In November 2023, a report conducted by Research and Markets found that the global modular data centre market is set to reach US81.2bn by 2030. The organisation recorded the market size as US$25.8bn, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.8% between 2023 and 2030.

It cited early detection, easy compliance to government regulations, the rising need for energy-efficient green data centres and strong global colocation facilities as fundamental to driving the global modular data centre market.

As the need for data continues to expand, ensuring that infrastructure can adapt is essential to meet data centre performance requirements. Modular data centres can allow for storing, cooling, powering and managing essential IT equipment to support business needs.

Moving into 2024, modular data centres have the ability to offer greater energy efficiency than the traditional data centre. This is due to the fact that they can offer more advanced and sustainable solutions. They are incredibly scalable, which makes them particularly popular among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because they are easily movable, according to Research and Markets. 

Opportunities and risks moving forward

Colocation providers are also demanding more modular data centres. This is because many enterprises are now looking at colocation data as a solution, as using a modular design can enable faster and more efficient scaling, reducing cost. Modular data centres also have built-in cooling and power redundancies, according to Research and Markets, in order to reduce downtime.

In this vein, North America is expected to hold the largest market share moving forward, given the demand and expansion that the region has experienced. With plenty of North American companies having invested in technologies like AI, IoT, 5G and cloud computing, they use modular data centres to reduce latency and handle network traffic.

Likewise, the use of a smart modular data centre at Mexico’s Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Ángeles (AIFA) has made it one of the most efficient and sustainable airports in the world. Using Huawei's intelligent modular solution, FusionModule2000, the airport expects to save millions of dollars in energy costs over the course of its lifetime.

The challenge will come with the modular in-built cooling systems as, even with additional air conditioning, it is difficult to prevent overheating within data centres. Without ensuring appropriate cooling systems, Research and Markets suggests that heat levels may impact the growth of the global market.

Inevitably, however, 2024 will most likely see data centres frequently turning to modular solutions to keep up with the demand of new technologies.

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