The demand for data transfer and storage has significantly increased in the last few years, and is expected to increase further during the forecast period. This demand for data transfer and storage has resulted in storage and compute solutions becoming more complex and advanced in nature, creating a strong shift toward modularity. The data center by itself is increasingly becoming modular (a shift from the traditional brick and mortar model to a self-contained modular design). While there are multiple market-related drivers such as high growth in co-location and cloud, increasing demand for data storage, overall increase in global data center investments, and boom in IoT and Big Data, the most compelling driver is the design aspect of the modular data center. Packed with value-added features and benefits, the modular design provides numerous benefits to end users, allowing them to focus on their core business.

As the number of connected devices increases, the amount of data originating from these devices increases proportionally—meaning an increase in the number of sources—leading to the need for efficient data processing and storage methodologies such as edge. With the next era of digitalization, a silent revolution is expected to change the location where data is processed, as well as the speed in which it is done, owing to edge computing and 5G. The term edge refers to the edge of a network—close to the data/information source—and edge computing means processing data close to the source. Edge computing is giving rise to a new wave of data centers that are smaller in terms of footprint and located close to the source. It is of no surprise to find latency as one of the factors, as next-generation applications are becoming extremely latency-sensitive. For example, streaming a movie via Netflix or streaming a game via nVIDIA Shield are bound to extreme latency sensitivity. The amount of data being processed at a core data center is likely to reduce, as data that requires immediate processing is likely be fed to an edge data center, if present, for processing and then be fed back to the user.

The global modular data centers market is still in its growth stage, with a lot of potential for penetration. The awareness level has been increasing steadily in the last 5 years. It accounts for nearly 7% of the total data centers market. From a regional perspective, North America is the biggest market for modular data centers, followed by Europe and APAC. China is a significant contributor to the modular data center revenues; it is also expected to be the fastest-growing country during the forecast period.