9 hot micro-data-center startups to watch

Startups focused on micro data centers could fill a void created by growing demand to process IoT data closer to the network edge.

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While Vapor IO has yet to announce customers, they have touted partnerships including with drone company Hangar to develop Robotics-as-a-System services; cloud provider Packet to deliver 5G-as-a-Service; and cell-tower operators Crown Castle to deploy a distributed network of micro data centers at the base of telecom towers.


Year founded: 2010

Funding: Undisclosed

Headquarters: Osborne Park, Australia

CEO: Angie Keeler, who was an injury-management advisor before getting into the data center market

What they do: Provide micro data centers.

Zellabox micro data centers house servers, storage and networking equipment in a secure enclosure with energy-efficient cooling systems. Zellabox micro data centers are designed to run autonomously and be centrally controlled through PowerIQ’s DCIM monitoring software, which is included with the boxes.

The Zellabox DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) software monitors power and environmental conditions within the Zellabox. It helps mitigate the risk of downtime by offering real-time alerts, while also helping to conserve energy by allowing the Zellabox owner to charge back for true energy costs and pursue energy-efficiency initiatives.

Zellaboxes are designed to withstand severe environments, engineered to be resilient against extreme heat and humidity, fire and, in certain configurations, even the collapse of a building.

Zellaboxes include proprietary Edge Intelligence software that provides access to edge data stores so data can be analyzed in near real-time close to the source of the devices generating the data.

 Competitors include: Axellio and Stulz

 Customers include: BHP, Shadowsafe and Petroecuador

Why they’re a hot startup to watch: Zellabox started out with a vision of developing a modular replacement to dedicated server rooms. Since its founding, the startup has expanded into the United Kingdom and landed several named customers, including Petroecuador and Shadowsafe.

Zellabox is also targeting military applications with a specialized micro data center called Hero.

(Jeff Vance is the founder of Startup50.com, a site that discovers, analyzes, and ranks tech startups. Follow him on Twitter, @JWVance, or connect with him on LinkedIn.)

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