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The containerised server room solution appeared on the market some time ago but was rarely used in Poland. However, the containerised server room offer has met with growing interest over last few years from companies who have to expeditiously implement procedures relating to Disaster Recovery Data Centres or the need to expand their existing server space while being constrained by limited room for expansion.

 

The containerised server room concept is underpinned by key location specifications and server rack space requirements.

 

One of the most essential aspects in the design of a single container include a heat removal system from rack installations. At present, we can provide an installation where from 10 to 15 kW of heat (more or less) from 10-11 rack configurations can successfully be removed, thus securing the required power supply and providing support from an uninterruptible power supply (UPS and Generator).

 

Another important element is the issue of installing relevant systems on the contact points between indoor and outdoor systems. When designing a solution, we approach the server room project on the day of the demand and the day of anticipated expansion`. The approach is proprietary and unconventional and tailored to the specific Customer requirements. Here, there is no ready-made blueprint but it’s custom-built to the precise infrastructure specifications provided by the Client.

 

The containers are executed individually, each time in according to the special technological arrangements made with the Client. The materials used in preparing the containerised server room are prepared in terms of fire resistance (EI60, EI90, EI120), static load for the entire container, and protection systems (fire protection, security, etc.). The container also has thermal insulation against heat absorption (sunshine) and has been coated with paint that disperses and reflects sun and UV rays.

 

The preparation of the server room in the container lasts about 6 to 8 weeks once all the technological and design assumptions have been finalised. A production version of the container without the final assembly and set-up of the air-conditioning, guaranteed power supply, and fire protection system is then transported to the Client’s site. Once on site, this part is up and running within a few hours. Here, the transport safety of the fit-out is crucial. There have been cases where a fully-fitted server room container was shipped to the Client’ site leaving only the external connections and final deployment on site.

 

One of the questions that we frequently get asked is how the surface should be prepared for container installation? There is no one answer to this question, however, for example, even if there is a concrete paving block parking lot consistent with good construction practices, this is a sufficient foundation that will not be deformed. There may, of course, be a separate concrete foundation done, foundation slabs or an asphalt finish - this remains an open question to be arranged with the Client and also down to the individual aesthetic requirements. Container-based solutions are a standard for portable or temporary facilities across Western Europe and are used practically everywhere.

Who are containerised server rooms intended for?

 

 

Containerised server rooms are optimal solutions for companies needing more server room space but are constrained by the buildings they occupy or the site where they are based.

 

This solution is particularly for locations with limited access to power, telecommunications infrastructure or inadequate facilities to install the necessary technical infrastructure (e.g., external air conditioning unit on the roof of a building). This is also a good and reasonable solution for companies facing renovation, refurbishment or temporary relocation.

 

Containerised server rooms are also optimal for entrepreneurs forced to urgently implement procedures resulting from Disaster Recovery Data Centre requirements, for instance.

 

The idea behind containerised data centres is to provide more expeditious and cost-efficient infrastructure compared to the construction or expansion of classic server room facilities as a new building or adjusting the systems and installations in existing premises.

Please note that we do not create containerised server rooms from salvaged and refurbished ISO containers adapted to IT system installations and other infrastructure!!!

 

 A steel structure that comes with a highly flame-retardant coating with the following fire resistance classes: R30, R60 or R120 (paint blisters in a fire situation) and a customised fire-protection structure in compliance with the methodology applied to obtain such resistance classes.

 

 A structure enabling interconnection of containers into systems through the corners and application of suitable metal flashings and engineering work on the structure

 

 EI30, EI60 or EI120 external walls from certified sandwich panels (varnished sheet metal with clinching technology, the Client-required fire resistant class mineral wool, flat varnished sheet metal), EI240 or a special outer shell, e.g., suited to the surroundings and building standards can also be made on request

 

 The long container walls are detachable to allow interconnection of containers into entire systems, creating a larger surface area but maintaining the high fire resistance parameters

 

 Flat roof made of certified sandwich panels and additionally covered with steel trapezoidal sheet metal. Also of appropriate fire resistance class: EI30, EI60 or EI120. The flat roof is additionally reinforced with a steel structure with a load carrying capacity ranging from 150 to 400 kg/m2, which is essential for outdoor-mounted freon air conditioning or a special design to support chiller unit loads

 

 Containers can also be placed one on top of the other, increasing the load-bearing capacity to the required level according to the construction points in order to stack containers one on top of the other and according to the loads resulting from the location of the IT equipment and its weight.

 

 The floor in the steel structure with a load-bearing capacity ranging from 600 to 4000 kg/m2 has a fire resistance class of R30 or R60

 

 Depending on the requirements, the external doors have EI30 or EI60 fire resistance class performance, are made of steel, insulated, and with dimensions of 1000x2100 mm, fitted with a self-locking mechanism and certified anti-theft system. Other sizes and anti-theft systems can also be fitted (subject to prior arrangement)

 

 The steel structure portable partition wall based serves to separate the front hallway from the corridor and the server area. This solution ensures that it can be moved along the container depending on the number of server racks required, optimising the efficiency of the cooling devices in relation to the space filled by the server racks in the container.

 

If necessary or recommended to separate the safety zone (air-lock door), additional safety anterooms are installed with full access control

We have developed several dozen containerised server room designs depending on the individual needs and the systems installed. The configuration details are arranged together with the Client during the design stage.

 

Every change affecting the safety systems or the carrying capacity of the container/floor/roof is agreed with the designer or experts in the field of physical safety and fire safety inspectors.

 

A 2D or 3D model is presented to the Client based on these arrangements, where the Client can specify whether the implemented solutions meet their requirements and expectations. Changes and suggestions are then implemented and the target model is created for the Customer’s approval.

 

Such planning requires combined work and creativity in terms of the quality of the proposed products and the feasibility of the Client’s chosen container model and design.

 

Every change and alteration or recommendation is agreed with the Client since what is of paramount importance to us is to preserve the Client’s needs and ensure the highest safety standards and technological requirements resulting from the selected systems.

Prefabrication

 

 

Once the arrangements have been finalised on the design stage and we have obtained all the Client approvals for the proposed solutions subject to the terms and conditions of cooperation, we move to the modelling stage and prefabrication of the containerised server room. The prefabrication time ranges from 6 to 8 weeks until delivery and deployment. Each container is comprehensively prepared for transport to ensure that all elements and systems are properly secured preventing any micro-damage during its relocation. However, prefabrication does not mean that the containers are pre-fitted with all the required systems, e.g., air conditioning, UPS, batteries, etc. We approach each transport individually, factoring in all the risks that transport and potential road accidents entail, which is why both the IT equipment and the remaining infrastructure like UPS’, sprinklers, cooling solutions, external systems are transported separately to the location.

 

On site, regardless of the container size, pre-deployment work usually ranges from 3 to 6 days before final deployment of the entire containerised server room. The installation time may be extended by a few days due to the recommendations of global insurance companies who have to approve the system location and be present during installation. The Client may also need to implement certain changes on site concerning the various points of contact between various industries, which were not envisaged in the original design.

 

For us, however, the prefabrication time allows all external infrastructure like power cables, telecommunications, and other systems, to be safely prepared and installed in good time, without any rush. That is why the time is reduced to a minimum.

 

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Advantages of containerised server rooms:

Fast-to-build, set up and expand while keeping existing infrastructure operational

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Faster design than bricks and mortar

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Customised and virtually unlimited arrangement options and dimensions (width and length)

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Extremely flexible, dynamic and modular container solutions

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Freedom in arrangement and container colour scheme

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Set on concrete foundation slabs or even a parking lot

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We purpose-build bespoke containers made to order for the Client based on a construction design technology prepared in-house for the required IT equipment siting, and in liaison with the Client who actively participates in the design phase.

 

We have worked close to 10 years on developing the right methodology to deliver the most suitable model of container. We have crafted a solution in cooperation with industry specialists in the field of engineering, fire protection and sanitary industries. Power industry specialists were left to certify and approve the suitability of the implemented assumptions and technological solutions in designing and building our containers.

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