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A Modular, Scalable, Data Centre with a PUE of 1.13

A statement like that is surely worthy of a spot in the next episode of Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Last week I was treated to a revolutionary facility tour. The invitation to see this new facility was nearly ignored, thinking it would be yet another container tour. The PR gambit sent through was a bit vague and in truth, as the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be know the rest!

How could a company, whose background in Healthcare Systems and Temporary Catering Facilities make an impact in the highly technical arena of data centres.What, with the power consumption, cooling requirements, airflow management and here they are making claims of the lowest PUE rating in the world!!! The cynic in me would sooner have thought the brains trust had been surgically removed or at worst fried!

So, geared up for my red eye train to the west country with a cup full of cynical coffee, I made the trip out to the Forest of Dean.

Upon arrival at the manufacturing plant, I was introduced to Paul Rodgers, the CEO of BladeRoom. Paul seems to exude a natural enthusiasm for life, or maybe just his product. Whatever it is, it stands true that behind all great ideas is passion. Paul has that. The link up between the Healthcare and Catering sides of the business soon became apparent. There is one very clear common denominator. Airflow.

In their mobile surgical theatres, sterile air has to be directed in and out of various critical sections and in the catering business, hot air needs to be either redirected or removed altogether. Through their very large mobile surgical installations which have seen the NHS reduce waiting list dramatically and feed the masses at the Olympic summer and winter games through their mobile kitchens, they have mastered the art of Airflow.

At this point I am still wearing my hat, very clearly marked "Cynic".

Next I am bombarded with a refresher course in GCSE science, a precursor to the painstaking amount of research which has been carried out in testing of their modular system. Over 150 hours of testing their airflow knowledge in a working environment, across all acceptable load thresholds. From running at -5'C to 40'C the results were pretty incredible! Yet the question still begs to be asked...just how do they do it?

With no raised floor access, no water cooling systems, a modular system which is completely scalable. Just like my child's LEGO, they simply remove one end and insert a new section and replace the end section again. LEGO for grown ups this is. Albeit expensive LEGO!

The tour of their working module, which was about to be dismantled before being driven to its new home over the May 31 Bank holiday weekend answered these questions. From the outside, this datacentre looks like a construction site management hub. On the inside, you could be forgiven thinking you were in ANY world class TierIV datacentre. The only noticeable differences were some key patented design changes made to aisle access and a few more metering gadgets which are used more for accurate monitoring than functional performance.

We complete the facility tour, and my hat is now very much "believer".

The questions posed to find short falls just make it even more attractive as a datacenter solution. And it is most certainly not a temporary measure. Although the turn around time is currently 12weeks, these modules have an outdoor lifespan of 60 years. They can be arranged in single or multi-storey configuration.

The city landlords sitting with thousands of square metres of empty office space, could, realistically, become the data centre providers of the future within weeks. All they need is bandwidth!

Click to watch the associated videos on The BladeRoom System, BladeRoom's Cooling System, BladeRoom's Monitoring, BladeRoom's Scalabilty, BladeRoom's Maintenance, BladeRoom's Resilience, BladeRoom's Energy Efficiency andBladeRoom's Plug & Play.

To learn more about BladeRoom and their cutting edge data centres, visit their website at

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