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Concergent tackles data centre scalability issue with mobile data centres

Tue 16 Dec 2014

Wichita-based tech company Concergent IT is taking a modular approach to the issue of data centre scalability by forming a new Micro Data Centre (MDC) company called ‘MDC Anywhere’, which aims to supply portable data centres to clients’ locations ad hoc.

CEO Dan Reisig has said that the Kansas computer-consulting firm was faced with the prospect of diminishing rack space forcing a new speculative data centre build to accommodate immediate overflow, but without a guarantee of capacity return, stating “We don’t want to build any [speculative] space.”

MDC Anywhere’s first project is reported by DCD Intelligence Research to be in Oklahoma City, using modular units at a proportional cost reduction of 14% compared to a traditional ‘built’ data centre facility.

In an environment where many of the global data storage suppliers are addressing scalability through SDDC approaches overlaid on an ad hoc grid of geographically anonymous bare metal, there are still several factors keeping ‘local’ data centre ecostructure growing, albeit with the kind of cautious investment that Concergent is demonstrating.

In the first place, Concergent is shielding itself from any critical mass the new scheme may come to by ring-fencing the ‘flying data centre’ service within its own company. Secondly, the technology – thought in unconfirmed reports to be modular units supplied by Concergent’s partner Dell – is itself flexible, agile and responsive.

Next, the shorter journey to the client’s HQ mitigates the effect of the United States’ controversially uncertain attitude to upgrading and extending its own often problematic network infrastructure, since a data centre in the car park is an admirably short hop on the client network. Additionally the MDC Anywhere service/company is providing hardware that the client can easily access physically.

There is both a comfort-factor and a disarming vulnerability in locating data at the company’s doorstep, or on its premises. On the one hand, it has a nostalgia that’s associated with being able to physically know where a company’s valuable assets are located, and to be able to take responsibility for its protection both online and in the physical world. But it also provides a target location for attackers in the real world.

Concergent – whose name is an initially mystifying portmanteau of ‘concierge’ and ‘urgent’ – has very little capacity left at its HQ data centre plant in North Waco, and is funding the new venture with unnamed investors.


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