Digital Realty, San Francisco

Pre-assembled electrical rooms with Siemens components lower construction time for data centers. 

Digital Realty, San Francisco

Digital Realty brings data center solutions to market fast, and in a big way. Headquartered in San Francisco, it combines an open and unique data center ecosystem with colocation and interconnection services at over 135 properties, representing over 25 million square feet in 33 metro areas worldwide. Digital Realty is central to many Fortune 100 companies' IT strategies to enable and accelerate business growth by delivering the right workload, in the right place at the right value.


With the demand for data centers growing at an unprecedented rate, Digital Realty is constantly looking for ways to bring new capacity online faster while ensuring energy efficiency, reliability and its industry-leading uptime. To shorten its deployment times, Digital Realty began to rethink how its data centers are built. Traditionally, data centers are custom-built using different equipment and with all production done at the construction site. It’s a system prone to delays and inefficiencies. The team at Digital Realty thought of a better way. They call it the POD Architecture (POD). POD borrows ideas from just-in-time manufacturing and modular construction practices.


Siemens worked with electrical integrator JDC Power Systems, Inc. to develop the pre-assembled electrical rooms. The final design called for all equipment to be mounted on a metal frame, measuring 20 feet wide by 40 feet long and 3 feet tall, that can be slipped under the raised floor of the data center computer room. The two organizations also worked with Digital Realty to optimize the production and delivery process. Siemens equipment can be manufactured ahead of time and either warehoused or delivered to JDC to meet tight production schedules.

Siemens electrical equipment that is now deployed in Digital Realty’s rapid deployment data centers include:

  • Low-voltage panel boards, switchboards and breakers
  • Distribution transformers
  • 38kV GM38 non-arc-resistant air-insulated outdoor switchgear
  • 15kV GM-SG non-arc-resistant air-insulated outdoor switchgear
  • Low- and medium-voltage protective relays

This equipment powers the data center’s servers and all the systems that make it an operable site such as lighting, fire systems, and security cameras and scanners. And it does so with the highest levels of energy efficiency and reliability. In addition to this POD solution, Siemens also supplies fire detection and lifecycle services to Digital Realty.


Using the POD electrical system design, Digital Realty has cut production time of its rapid projects by over 30%. A typical deployment for the company is now around 80 days. It’s a figure that’s setting the pace for the industry. As a result of its success with Siemens, Digital Realty is looking at other ways the two organizations can collaborate on innovations to better serve its customers.

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