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IT Power takes on containerised data centre market; resellers wanted

By Heather Wright
Wed 7 Oct 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

New Zealand’s IT Power has unveiled what it believes is the first New Zealand developed ‘data center in a box’ solution, offering up new opportunities for Kiwi resellers.

The power protection and cooling specialists have launched a fully portable data center, housed within the world’s most broadly adopted industry standard – the ISO shipping container.

Jason Lewis, IT Power director, says Datablok offers a more flexible and affordable answer to ICT infrastructure needs – and he’s expecting the offering to be a winner.

“Globally we know it’s a billion dollar industry, and across Australasia the containerised data center market is easily in excess of a $100 million market,” Lewis says.

“Within two years, based on the feedback we’ve had so far, we think it’s not unrealistic that we could get 10% of that market.”

IT Power custom manufactures each Datablok, starting with 10, 20, 40 or 45 foot ISO shipping containers and installing access, insulation, power, cooling, security and remote management/monitoring as required.

Fault tolerance, rack power density, internal configuration and other specific client needs are all incorporated into the final design.

“The result is a data center that can be transported anytime, anywhere in the world and stored in any environment: hot, cold, wet or dry,” IT Power says. The Datablok has the added advantage of being shock-proof, seismically-restrained and fire resistant, Lewis says.

He says the Datablok costs a fraction of similar solutions from multi-national vendors, with pricing from $100,000 compared to $1 million for similar from a multi-national.

“The other advantage is that unlike many multi-national vendors, when it comes to the components, we’re vendor agnostic,” Lewis says.

He says the Datablok offers best of breed and fit-for-purpose hardware, locally supported and in whatever layout a customer requires.

Lewis says Datablok is expected to appeal to a range of customers, including those who need to free up office space and those who need to be able to take the data center with them – whether to particular events or because they’re preparing to move to new offices and don’t want to invest in a data center within the current building.

“There’s an advantage in not utilising valuable office space for a data center,” Lewis says, noting that moving a data center from a building into a 20-foot container frees up space for eight to 10 desks.

“That can mean in the difference in a company having to move to new premises, or being able to remain where they are,” Lewis says.

Oil and gas exploration customers are also a key target for Datablok.

Datablok’s first customer, Hawkes Bay communications provider Unison, opted for the offering because ‘it was more cost effective than moving the data center within our current building, and gave additional benefits of being external to the main site', says Unison chief information officer Mike McGarvey.

While the Datablok’s portability wasn’t a prime consideration for Unison, McGarvey says it will offer benefits in the event something goes wrong at the principal site, allowing the company to move the container, without having to rebuild a server room.

Lewis says the company is welcoming conversation with resellers interested in offering Datablok.

Like its big international competition APC-Schnieder, Lewis says IT Power is hoping to have discussions with end-users and market directly, while also engaging resellers.

He says resellers can provide many advantages for the end-user with value-added services, while resellers get remuneration for their time, effort and expertise.

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