The Road to an Open Solution: A Look inside PCX’s FLX-MDC™ 90kw Development Process

   

Modular is needed now more than ever.” These are the defining words of PCX’s Sales and Marketing Director Rob Coyle, who’s journey into the modular data sector was fostered by his passion for technology and his family’s generational background in construction. Coyle, a member of the Open Community, represented PCX Corporation at the 2019 Open Compute Project (OCP) Regional Summit, and has championed for the integration of the OCP's pillars of efficiency, scalability, openness and impact, with that of PCX’s drive to continually innovate and streamline protocols in the data center industry. The result? A collaborative, and industry first open solution, built on maximizing efficiency, the ability to scale to client needs, the provision of constructive client and open organizational system feedback, and the consistent evaluation of the center’s impact.

 

Polling & Development

The new “all-in-one” open solution, officially branded under the FLX-MDCline of PCX’s modular data centers (MDC), derived from the need to address what problems the data center industry needed to solve, and in what manner to efficiently solve them. Coyle and the team at PCX sought to identify these industry-laden problems by polling 24 open community member companies, and sorting through the voluntary testimonials. The polling helped to identify how hyper scale and edge deployments can benefit from modular innovation, with inquiries concerning rack density, the number of racks being deployed on new data center sites, and the number of racks being expanded within older sites. The input from the community directly led to the development of a newly optimized and collaborative modular data center specification, based on the extent of the qualified feedback given.

Discover how modular data centers bypass the skilled labor shortage, new energy  regulations and the rising cost of real estate.

MDC Considerations

On the road to manufacturing a modular data center product to match the specification outlined, Coyle and the PCX team had numerous considerations. In the official presentation, Coyle said that the modular data center  “lives somewhere between a product and a facility,” which necessitated PCX to consider the multitude of components installed within the center, the operational and regulatory requirements for deployment, and the need for flexibility in manufacturing or client specification. Coyle and the PCX team submitted the products associated with the MDC 90kw for fair and transparent evaluation from the IC committee, and are pushing the limits of what can be implemented into the MDC, based on a number of specific inspection codes and external authorities having jurisdiction in the development process.

modular data center process

What's Next?

At this point in the process, the IC committee has approved the specification, with PCX's contributions, for a 90kw modular data center. But Coyle states in his presentation that PCX is only "weeks away" from a formal product submission presentation that exemplifies the approved specifications. The goal of the product presentation is to procure consent to join the OCP marketplace as a product provider and utilize the “OCP Approved” moniker to market the product on a larger scale, within the industry. Coyle affirms that PCX is undergoing this process and developing the new MDC with the intent to share their expertise, knowledge and experience to push the industry forward, while creating an open solution for MDC clients.

"We have a lot of lessons learned,” said Coyle. “We like to call them investments, where we’ve fixed issues we’ve discovered as we’ve built … [modular data centers].” So, we’re sharing those investments. We’re sharing that knowledge and experience.” To read more about the FLX-MDC 90kw, check out the official release here. To request specifications on the new “all-in-one” data center, you can fill out a contact form here to receive a digital reference sheet.

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