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How IO is trying to build modular data centers for the rest of us


IO Data Centers wants to make it faster, cheaper and easier for companies to add computing capacity. The Phoenix, Ariz.-based company has made a large-scale shift from selling traditional data center capacity to selling its own brand of modular data centers that can sit just about anywhere, and that can be filled with servers one rack at a time. The units, called IO.Anywhere modules, are designed for smaller-scale deployments and those requiring less customization than the modular units filling up eBay’s cutting-edge data center just a few miles to the west of IO’s headquarters, but the idea is the same.

The problem, IO Co-Founder and CEO George Slessman told me during a recent visit, is primarily one of planning. This is especially true for traditional IT departments that try to plan ahead to determine what they’ll need as far as 10 years down the road. That’s a laudable goal, but “you’re gonna be…

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