Amid the recent press about our new Mobile Data Center (MDC) product, and our first demo unit making the rounds of several shows and events, we asked our team responsible for this newest WWT data center offering to discuss its history and their vision for the future of such solutions.
While numerous individuals have participated in building WWT’s MDC program, Chris Black, director of federal solutions engineering, along with Matt Long, who handles business development for the MDC line, and Jon Irwin, lead technical architect in support of the MDC, comprise the core team supporting MDC product development and management.
Right off the bat (yes, we have to plug in baseball references in St. Louis, these days), the team points out that our first MDC contract is in the books, with a federal defense organization recently placing an order. Customer feedback during initial reviews of our demo unit has been highly favorable, and this initial order serves as an important icebreaker for what we expect to be a successful sales program.
How did we get here?
Just over a year ago WWT was engaged on a containerized data center solution for the US Army in which we provide an OEM product, which turned out not to be designed to meet stringent military requirements. The OEM didn’t offer the necessary supporting infrastructure of chiller, UPS and generator. We saw that as an opportunity to create a holistic offering that could be fully customized to meet any customer need. The design phase was underway! A subject of interest for Chris Black, the mobile data center concept now presented a clear chance for product development, and while WWT did not win the contract at hand, the engagement inspired WWT’s executive team to invest in preparing for future opportunities in the space.
WWT’s approach to growth centers on our vision of providing revolutionary technology products and services, but also seeks to balance investment in new offerings with the maturity of the market and a realistic sense of existing and potential requirements. As evident in our workshop and assessment driven methodology for cloud-focused customer engagements, WWT expects to become a leader in emerging technology areas, but we will build our leadership position by enabling real customer solutions in the present and thereby learning what is needed in the near and longer-term future.
With this in mind, we are doing plenty of listening at early presentations and roadshow events featuring our MDC demo unit. We are hearing a few key things regularly, with the need for customization highlighting the comments, thus far. Additionally, customers are telling us:
- WWT offers a holistic approach by supplying, not only the IT units, but also the necessary generator, chiller and UPS solutions right sized for my needs.
- Our solution stands out versus other products they’ve seen due to an obvious higher quality of craftsmanship
- The MDC’s flexibility and ease of configuration options are very appealing
This last point deserves some additional detail. Traditional OEM mobile data center offerings typically incorporate designs intended primarily to utilize the manufacturer’s gear. As an architecturally independent multi-vendor integrator, WWT has built its MDC concept without any pre-conceived notions regarding the equipment configurations to be deployed within. This is a relatively novel approach, and it’s grabbing attention. In addition to our emphasis on rolling out a purpose built solution, designed to address austere environments and portability that meets MIL-STD-810G requirements for shock and vibration, WWT works closely with clients to discern their mission-critical needs, then design a custom MDC flexible enough to house any IT environment, deployable anywhere at a cost that is often less expensive than other mobile data centers in the marketplace.
Matt Long points out that WWT’s real focus is to prove to customers they can have a fully customized solution with the supporting infrastructure from one partner at a competitive price.
“We are able to offer custom designed and built solutions at competitive prices thereby providing the greatest flexibility of any offering in the market today, and by owning the entire supply chain we can offer customers true turn-key solutions, reducing cost and accelerating deployment,” said Long.