Why Use A Containerised Mobile Data Centre?

If you’re looking to extend or re-house your IT network, need a new data centre or want a disaster recovery solution; Containerised Mobile Data Centres (MDC’s) provide a flexible and economic alternative to a traditional construction project.


iDaCs MDC’s are purpose built, so you can design them to meet your specific needs. You can select the size & configuration, internal equipment, colour and security requirements to suit your application and budget.


Space Saving

These MDCs can be made in any size (from 10-40ft) and can be stacked or used as building blocks to create a larger facility; making the most of your available space.









These robust ‘containerised’ units offer effective security against unauthorised visitors; and they can be fitted with a range of accessories including bio-metric entry systems and surveillance equipment to give added assurance.

Plus, as there aren’t multiple construction companies on site (except a small team during site preparation and set-up) – you have less contractors wandering around your premises.


As separate stand-alone structures, MDC’s are ideal for disaster recovery and back-up facilities. They can be run from generators (or mains), so can be isolated from the grid in the event of any potential problems with your mains supply.


Although our MDCs are custom-built and not made from ordinary shipping containers, they are still designed to the ISO standard profile, so can be easily transported on standard container trucks. This allows you to move them around your site, if required, or take them with you if you move (protecting your long-term investment).


Our MDCs arrive ready to go and fully certified (if you decide to have them pre-configured with cabling). And as the planning requirements are minimal – the overall time from design approval to unit delivery is typically only 3 months. A planning application for a construction project could take longer than this – just to get approval!


Versus a new build  – requiring ground works, design services, materials, labour, fit-out, multiple contractors, etc. our MDC’s cut out many of these costs and can be taken with you if you move (unlike the bricks and mortar alternative)!


There’s less disruption, construction traffic and mess on site compared to a traditional construction project.


Less planning requirements – and minimal site preparation.

Plus, potential ‘teething problems’ are avoided, as all the systems have been pre-tested before delivery.

What to consider when specifying your Mobile Data Centre

Obviously your application (and budget) will drive the specification of your MDC, but here’s a check list of what you might need to consider;

1) Number of Racks – This will generally determine the size of Mobile Data Centre required.

As a guide, the information below shows the typical lay-out of a 20 and 40ft unit. Other sizes (10-40ft) and modular combinations are also available.


20 foot = 20x 300mm 6,000
Note: 300mm = 1 foot
6 x 600mm racks 3,600
1 x 800mm (UPS) rack* 800
Entrance Facility 1,000
Control Shelter 600
Total 6,000

Typical lay-out of 20ft unitPicture5

*Note: 20ft container will house a maximum of 6 server racks and 1 rack for UPS & batteries.




40 foot = 40x 300mm 12,000
16 x 600mm racks 9,600
1 x 800mm rack* 800
Entrance Facility 1000
Control Shelter 600
Total 12,000





Typical lay-out of 40ft unit

*Note: 40ft container will house a max. of 16 server racks and 1 rack for UPS & batteries (may need 2 racks in some cases)


If you need more racks, or would like a more traditional data centre configuration with different zones – you can combine units, as shown left. We can help you to design the best fit for your needs.

You also need to decide if you need fixed or track mounted moving racks (which make equipment installation and maintenance easier).

2) What are your power requirements per rack (kW)? And what type of PDU’s, batteries and UPS are needed?

3) Preferred Power Supply – Mains or Generator?Picture8

If you’re looking at a disaster recovery solution or a data centre that’s isolated from your main building for other reasons (e.g. to prevent EMI being transferred from your manufacturing plant), then a generator would be the preferred option.

4) What type of cooling is required?

If you need to withdraw a lot of heat, water-cooled HydrologicÒ panels (see picture) are one of the most efficient solutions for under-floor data centre cooling – capable of withdrawing up to 20kW per unit. And as they are under-floor mounted, they don’t take up valuable space within the MDC floor plan.

If you’re cooling requirements are less demanding, then air-conditioning units or fans may be more suitable.

5) Doors and Entry Systems

You will need different doors and security access in different areas e.g. doors will need to be specified for the racks, main entrance door and also any zoned areas inside (which may require additional security access). Biometric devices, locks and RFID should all be considered – as well as CCTV and surveillance systems.


6) Fire Rating

A fire-resistance rating typically means the duration for which a passive fire protection system can withstand a standard fire resistance test. iDaCs MDCs have purpose built walls , so you can specify your fire rating from F30-F120 (30-120 minutes, as shown below).  The higher the number, the better the protection for people and equipment.

Type Thickness Time Min Temp
 F30 80mm 30 mins  -30c
 F60 100mm 60 mins  -40c
 F90 120mm 90 mins  -50c
 F120 140mm 120 mins  -60c

Picture11 7) Cable Containment?Picture10

Do you want basket or cable tray – and do you want the cabling to run over cabinets or under the floor? If you don’t have a preference we can suggest the best option to suit your application.

8) Monitoring and sensorsPicture12

To ensure that your MDC is running efficiently and safely, sensors should be used to monitor power consumption, fire alarms, temperature, leakage / water escape, humidity and pressure.

Ideally, it should be possible to adjust these conditions automatically or remotely via the control centre DC BMS system.

9) Colour

It may seem like a minor consideration, but part of your MDC’s security measures could be the external finish. You could choose to have the outside painted in your corporate colours, or to match the external finish of existing buildings on site, or have it finished as a beaten up container than no one would give a second glance at – the decision is yours.

10) To cable or not to cable?

For a fully plug-and-go solution, you could consider having your MDC fully cabled prior to installation. This can cut down the implementation time and offers a fully certified cabling system – pre-tested and without the need for additional contractors on site after delivery.

11) Site preparation and installation requirements

While all the items below may not all be required, they should be considered and discussed with your MDC provider early in the specification process;

– Receipt of regulatory approval at the building authority or other public / private sector bodies, where necessary
– Core area must be able to accommodate delivery and installation of the MDC and allow clean ‘safe’ space away from other building works, demolition and removal
– Inclusion of the chillers in the lightning protection system if necessary
– Establish support structure for the chillers.
– Supply installation for NSHV and main bonding conductor. The required electrical connection capacity must be available in the building. As a network form a TN-S network should be available.
– Ensure the operation and maintenance of electrical equipment is only carried out by qualified personnel.
– Connection or signaling line between the fire alarm system (data center) and fire alarm system of the building should be incorporated, if necessary
– Ensure that regional authority requirements regarding the fire regulations are considered and adhered to.
– Ensuring the necessary traffic load for the planned installation site
– Ensure a flat floor
– Foundation at the site of the container as agreed.

12) Budget

You might think this should be item 1, but once you know and understand what your application requires from a technical stand-point, you can go back and decide which features are a must-have and which areas can be compromised on.

For more information on any of the points listed above, or to discuss your specific applications, please contact iDaC Solutions.

Tel: 02380 279 999  |  info@idacs.uk.com |  www.idacs.uk.com


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