Modular data centres may cost as much as 14% less to deploy than traditional “bricks and mortar” data centres, indicating that the industry could be wasting much-needed capital on data centre deployment, according to research from DCD Intelligence, a division of DataCenterDynamics.

There has been a lack of clarity in recent years when it comes to the comparative cost of traditional and modular data centres, but the research from DCD Intelligence found that the greater density and more efficient use of space mean that modular facilities are able to achieve significantly better PUE compared to traditional data centres in many cases.

Chris Drake, lead analyst at DCD Intelligence and Author of the white paper does point out that, in spite of the paper’s findings, the issue is far more complex than simply assuming that a modular approach will always offer significant cost savings.

“It is important to recognize that there are a vast number of modular products available; not all of which offer the same standards and certifications and levels of support to end users,” comments Drake. “This paper offers the first real cost comparison of modular versus traditional build. But, as with any market, the potential savings will vary depending on the particular modular solution chosen.”

The report identifies that there has been a significant growth in investment in modular data centres. Organisations have been attracted by the shorter timeframe required to plan and deploy a data centre, as well as the reduced complexity and enhanced performance.