Datapod is not new to the modular data center industry, but their new iPad App released January 15, 2013 is certainly the first of its kind.
I downloaded it to see what and how it works. The infrastructure menus are clearly labeled and the options are easy to navigate. As you select rack, power and cooling options, the graphic display is updated to show colorful tagged blocks with not too much purpose. There are no dimensional and spatial data associated with the graphic and utility tie-in points are not displayed. I assume this will be available in future version releases.
The whole process to build a Datapod system is self explanatory and took me less than 5 minutes. Towards the bottom of the menus, the user is given an option to Download a Proposal, which I did. This is a 15 page standardized report of which I show a couple of excerpts. The Solution Overview, including a summary of the systems and a sketch of the layout (again, lacks space dimensional data).
The other page I show below is the Pricing Page and it shows a breakdown of the system pricing and a placeholder for total price. This is a "foot in the door" type report and serves a purpose to introduce the client to Datapod's system integration with Schneider Electric components and how the modular infrastructure blocks are engineered together.
A modular approach is about standardizing and simplifying the solutions to end users. Datapod is to be commended for putting out this elegant App to market their product. This is not a comprehensive product to the user but it seems to serve the business goals of Datapod and I would anticipate future releases to have more information, more options, and bugs fixed.
But regardless what I think or whether the data center community likes the idea or not (there's a lot of chatter!), I believe the competition will be driven to release similar and more competitive "DYO" (Design-Your-Own) modular data center Apps.