The Changing Shape (and Size) of Modular Data Centers

While it does not get as much press as hyperscale, edge, and cloud computing, there has been a shift in the design of data centers quietly taking place over the past few years. Modular data center design in general, and modular containers in particular, is changing the way the industry is implementing projects. For CPG, the change seems more like a natural evolution, one that will continue to change the way we think about data center design and deployment. To see how we came to that point of view, let’s take a look at modular design in its historical context. 

The design of the first several generations of data centers yielded static, drab white rooms celebrating mechanical and electrical design’s response to the computer age. They were also built around deployments of specific computer systems, and usually constructed faster than the computers themselves were manufactured. These rooms were also ‘corporate,’ meaning they represented long-term investments in technology for the companies that built them. They were static rather than dynamic and would certainly never be referred to as profit centers. 

The history of data center design can, in some ways, be traced to the shift from computing for business to computing as a business. Colocation has become more ubiquitous as the ‘server huggers’ have learned to let go, and more and more firms are in the business of data and technology instead of using data and technology to support their business. As technology has become the business itself, the focus has naturally shifted to the profitability of the colocation enterprise. Economic pressures being what they are, the industry has focused on new ways not only to compute more economically, but also to increase the return on data center deployments as much as possible. 

Enter stage right: modular data center design. In the data center world, modular has two meanings. First, modular means scalable. Electric components such as UPS gear can be deployed so that they can provide more capacity at a later date, either through software upgrades or by adding new modules to the system to provide more capacity. Today, the term modular refers more to the method of deployment and less to the electrical and mechanical infrastructure itself. Modular now refers to the ability to deliver prebuilt computing capacity in self-contained units. That means electrical, mechanical, and computing capacity can be fixed using solutions like modular containers and skids (or ‘SCIFs’ in government-ese). 

The need for modular data center design is not driven solely by economics, although it is a factor. The challenges presented today, from hyperscale computing to the point solutions needed to expand that computing capacity to the ‘edge,’ have also forced the design community’s hand. Modular design supports large hyperscale applications, and also works well for small edge deployments. Speed to market has also favored not only a scalable solution, but one that can be fabricated off site. Prefab data center solutions improve project economics and reduce the risks inherent with adding capacity using traditional construction methods.

Modular data centers are now being used in more mainstream applications. As corporate computing functions shift to the cloud, it is more common for them to be deployed in secure containers in a colocation facility rather than located in brick and mortar space on the corporate campus. For more about the changing shape of modular data centers, follow the link to see how CPG is taking part in the evolution.

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CPG, the pioneer in cutting-edge, full-spectrum data center solutions, is excited to announce the acquisition of OME, a professional engineering firm and market leader in strategic services for facility automation and monitoring.

The addition of OME to CPG’s portfolio brings with it an expert team, led by engineering industry veteran Richard Warner. Mr. Warner will lead the Operational Technology Solutions Division at CPG, which will specialize in innovative design, engineering and deployment of enterprise-level systems with progressive solutions that go well beyond standard data integration. In addition, Matt Hartle will join the team in the role of investor and director. Mr. Hartle was previously the Director of Information Technology for DuPont Fabros Technology and held the role of Operations Executive for OME.

 “The exponential growth of CPG had us looking for opportunities to bring more expertise in-house,” said CPG Managing Partner, Anthony Rizzo. “OME’s excellent reputation and focus on forward-thinking, scalable solutions, along with their expert leadership, made them a perfect fit for our team.”

 The new division will operate as a fully-integrated part of CPG. Their strategic services will be designed to enhance client infrastructure and operations by enabling visibility into systems, strategically managing critical data and optimizing performance for effective cost- and energy-saving results. 

“After partnering the past two years on some very innovative, next-generation data center solutions, we’re very excited to be a fully integrated part of the CPG team,” said Richard Warner. “Working as part of a full-spectrum data center solutions provider allows us the opportunity to incorporate more comprehensive solutions into the facilities lifecycle. We are truly poised to change the game for our clients.”

The acquisition increases the depth and breadth of the company’s professional engineering team, as well as enhances CPG’s capabilities and expertise in delivering secure control and monitoring systems to mission-critical facilities including data processing, military operations, critical healthcare, telecommunication switching, financial transactions, manufacturing, utility services and laboratory research.


CPG experts are THE innovators for cutting-edge Data Center and Cloud solutions. For nearly 20 years, CPG has been providing full-lifecycle, mission-critical infrastructure solutions to some of the most demanding Fortune 1000 companies. CPG applies the latest facilities infrastructure power, cooling, security and control at all scales and densities, including modular and hyperscale. Headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, CPG is at the heart of the data center industry.

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SmartTec Solution/Hub Consulting Partnership

Contact: Jim Marsh

Vice President, Business Development

CPG Chooses Datacloud Europe to Announce SmartTec Solution/

Hub Consulting Partnership

CPG, the pioneer in cutting-edge, full-spectrum data center solutions, chose the Datacloud Europe Congress and Exhibition in Monaco to showcase their new SmartTec solution, which they presented in conjunction with their new European partner, Hub Consulting.

According to Tommy Nalley, Senior Director of Critical Infrastructure Solutions at CPG, SmartTec is designed to provide clients with a complete range of 24x7 certifiedIT support through the use of a convenient and secure portal. Understanding that many of the failures in data centers are the result of human error, SmartTec service protects customers by monitoring and addressing data center IT performance with technicians certified in a full-range of IT specialties, who are experienced at protecting IT systems from failures, not creating them.

“SmartTec is perfect for use by Colocation Providers, Cloud Providers or End Users, so given the high caliber of attendees across these categories at Datcloud Europe, we felt this was the perfect venue to showcase this innovative, high quality solution,” said Mr. Nalley.

John McDermott, Founder of Hub Consulting, added, “The environment at Datacloud Europe fosters a collective ability to explore the next-generation ideas that are needed to support the exponential growth within the cloud industry. With this in mind, Hub Consulting is excited to work with CPG on their expansion into Europe, with a focus on the SmartTec solution.”

The Datacloud Europe Congress and Exhibition is being held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and runs through Thursday, June 14.


CPG experts are THE innovators for cutting-edge Data Center and Cloud solutions. For nearly 20 years, CPG has been providing full-lifecycle, mission-critical infrastructure solutions to some of the world’s most demanding companies. Headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, and with projects across the United States, CPG is expanding its international presence into Europe, adding to its already existing projects in Tokyo, London and Kuwait.


Hub Consulting provides consultancy services to stakeholders involved in the design, procurement, construction, operation, maintenance and upgrade of mission critical data centers and internet infrastructure.

Their experience is the product of many years working on a wide portfolio of projects that have delivered redundant & resilient infrastructure currently powering cloud services in hyperscale data centers around the world.

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