Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please take a look at our privacy and cookie policies. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Modular data center market to triple its size by 2020

America to remain the largest consumer of modular IT

The worldwide market for modular data centers and related equipment is set to grow from $8.37 billion in 2015 to $35.11 billion by 2020.

According to research agency Markets and Markets, North America is expected to remain the largest modular data center market in terms of size, while Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to emerge as a high-growth market.

Huawei outdoor modular container sold by T Systems

Huawei outdoor modular container sold by T-Systems

Source: Peter Judge

Modular bonanza

Modular data centers consist of pre-fabricated building blocks that can be deployed in a fraction of the time it takes to erect a bricks-and-mortar facility. They include all the necessary IT, power, cooling, fire protection and access control elements.

The modular approach can help grow an existing data center in small increments, while maintaining optimum utilization. Modules can also be easily shipped to areas where building a permanent data center is impractical. They can withstand any weather conditions - modular data centers have been popping up in deserts, jungles and beyond the Arctic Circle - and are perfect for emergency response operations.

The small size and portable nature of such data centers also makes them suitable for mobile network providers, who are increasingly turning to distributed data centers as the platform to run network function virtualization (NFV).

The modular data center market is expected to grow significantly over the next five years, reaching $35.11 billion by 2020, as more hyperscale operators discover the benefits of this approach. This figure includes both complete containerized data center solutions and individual modules designed to provide IT, power and cooling for such environments.

Existing vendors of modular kit include Dell, Cisco, HP, IBM, Schneider Electric, SGI, Emerson Network Power, Flexenclosure, Baselayer and Huawei.

Last month at the Huawei Networking Congress in Beijing, Leon He, president of the Enterprise group for Western Europe, said he believed that cloud and analytics applications of the future would reside in modular data centers.

“At the very beginning, there was the centralized data center. Then, we’ve had the distributed data center, and now there are modular data centers. I think this is a very natural evolution of the data center solution,” he said.

Developing markets such as China, India, and Brazil are expected to lead the speedy growth of the modular market. The report notes that this trend will present plenty of opportunities for various data center infrastructure vendors, and providers of related services.

Related images

  • Huawei outdoor modular container sold by T Systems

Readers' comments (12)

  • For those considering modular solutions in Brazil, check out SmartCube (, the only company with a modular data center patent that is producing modular data centers in Latin America.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Interesting Tom.

    We covered SmartCube on this site back in 2011.

    There is plenty more about them on our Spanish language sister site.

    Peter Judge

  • Modular and green.
    LAMDA HELLIX developed in Greece a modular data center that is powered exclusively by a nearby river.

    Read more here:

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thanks Petros

    Good to hear more about Lamda Hellix - we've covered the company a few times over the years, and it was a great finalist in our EMEA awards last year.

    Incidentally, entries are now open for this years awards, everyone....

    Peter Judge
    Global Editor

  • Great news for companies offering a modular data center product. Exciting times for specialists like Datapod, and other providers like SE, Huawei etc
    Best regards Gordon

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Another player in the modular market with a range of bespoke modular solutions are Gardner DC Solutions Ltd, with a range of modular solutions bespoke designed and manufactured covering every size of modular Data Centre for global deployment and 'Pay As you Grow' solutions. Check out

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thanks Stephen

    Peter Judge

  • Quite an interesting market indeed ! Just a quick comment on one of the modular DC vendors mentioned in the article - SGI. They sold their MDC business to Commscope 18 months ago.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thanks Gautham!

    Peter Judge

  • Good to see more movement in the modular business.
    We have been building modular data centers over the last 4 years, however without using shipping containers.
    Within our modules we offer a convenient workspace without the need to shove racks around and have thus focussed not only on energy efficiency but also on work efficiency.
    Another difference with the container based system is that we can offer modules from 20 up to 100 racks of space, which allows a quick rollout of not only small but also medium sized datacenters.
    We have more than 6MW of our modules operational today.
    Check out for more information.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thanks Hjalmar

    Peter Judge

  • Great article. Everyone acknowledging the benefits of modular data centers.
    IIJ, one the Japan's largest ISP, also does modular data centers. In fact, IIJ has the Japan's largest outside air cooling economizer modular data center.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Many thanks Yuko

    That sounds very interesting - I think we will want to know more for future articles.

    Peter Judge
    Global Editor

  • This is really interesting. Always encouraging to see numbers like these!

    VERT. has a unique and patented vertical/modular data center solution. Designed for dense megacities environment.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thank you Philippe.

    It seems the world is full of modular data centers!

    Peter Judge

  • CommScope is leveraging its enterprise Data Center expertise, its Mobile Telecom insight and its Global Network of ICT partners to bring a range of Modular Solutions to market. As an Industry we have a lot to do to help clients differentiate between pre fabricated buildings, containers, and pre fabricated modular units. Yes the world is moving to modular, here is the voice of one customer

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Gautham Gnanajothi mentioned SGI and CommScope.

    This is now an active partnership and for HPC customers old and new they are getting the benefits of both SGI HPC technology and CommScopes Data Center manufacturing excellence.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thanks Ciaran

    Keep the comments coming. This is now the most commented piece on our site, and has become a compendium of worldwide container data center products.

    Peter Judge

View results 10 per page20 per page

Have your say

Please view our terms and conditions before submitting your comment.



More link