As the internet and demand for more computing power scales exponentially, the need for data centers to power the cloud increases along side. This means somewhere in some sleepy town with cheap power and a mild climate (see Wenatchee, WA) the foundation of the internet is expanding right now.
This is where DAMAC goes to work providing custom built server racks, power and temperature management, and aisle containment solutions unique to every building, site, and need. There newest offering is Structure. This modular server rack management system which allows data centers to scale as quickly and as efficiently as possible to meet ever growing demand.
The Pain Point
The primary factor in constructing or scaling a data center is time. Building from the ground up takes time and extra labor as each piece of the aisle is individually assembled and bolted into place. This can mean several contractors on a single site. Scheduling becomes a nightmare and project delays are common.
Instead of dealing with each piece separately, DAMAC developed Structure to be a single freestanding containment system where loaded servers racks are bolted into the Structure and cable management is simplified by Structure's design.
With Structure, one contractor can place each container, add power and temperature control, and the data center is ready to roll in less time. As we all know, time is money. An un-powered server is not processing data and not making money.
DAMAC's Unique Value Proposition
Not every data center needs Structure. There are current buildings that have space and budget issues that require better design thinking. Custom design solutions are the foundation of DAMAC's unique value proposition.
David Johnson said this is the strength of DAMAC. "Design and build to order is our focus. We let the really smart design people at these large scale web companies tell us what they want. Then we give it to them."
This means anything is open for design modifications. It was interesting to learn how the color of a server rack can effect efficiency and maintenance. Johnson told me white racks are better for low light environments and help technicians maintain the rack better. This is a great low cost solution for budget-minded customers.
The building which houses the data center is another factor is design. Some rooms have very little horizontal space to expand, and yet have high ceilings. This means adding processing power via a top hat addition to the existing server rack. A top hat looks exactly how is sounds.
The single issue that keeps every data company CEO up at night is temperature management. For DAMAC, this also means designing racks that optimize air flow and keep hardware cool and operating efficiently. Lest anyone think data companies aren't worried about the aesthetics of their racks. Johnson told me putting company logos on server racks along with specific colors are frequent customer requests.
I showed Structure to a good friend who works at a data center. He said this concept is the new reality for data center efficiency. Efficiency is everything for data center management and temperature control is the primary outpoint when things go awry. It's much easier and cheaper to control the temperature of multiple small, confined spaces like Structure than cooling a single huge 1000 square foot room.
My friend said individual pods are much easier to manage and maintain from every standpoint. While set up and atmosphere control are made easier, my friend said when you combine factors like cable and boot box management into the equation, Structure is a great product.
I asked my friend about DAMAC and its perception in the industry. My friend said there are so many different hardware and rack companies out there doing the same thing that the primary difference between them is the customization aspect and full spectrum of each company's offerings. He had nothing bad to say about DAMAC.
DAMAC is a server rack management company. They focus on the infrastructure by which servers and switches are mounted. They don't sell hardware or cables. There are many other companies that offer the start to finish solutions including servers, cables, and all the components necessary to build and scale data centers.
My friend said data companies shop multiple vendors when pricing a project. The factor that decides who gets the contract can vary from company to company. It could be weight and shipping cost, rack size, immediate project need, or a multitude of others things. It's a competitive space that requires an agile and flexible team to provide the best customized solution for a given situation.