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Mini centers are sprouting up on the edges of networks – in factories, on container ships, and piggybacked on cellular base stations – as enterprises and service providers look to embed compute and storage capacity closer to where is being generated.

So-called micro-modular data centers (MMDC) aren’t new, and they’re not the only distributed edge computing solution. But they’re growing in popularity with a compound annual growth rate of 42% over the last three years, according to 451 Research. Sales of MMDCs are forecast to reach nearly $30 million in 2018 from $18 million in 2017. While the market appears small, MMDC sales in 2018 will represent about 2,000 new installations and be a part of projects that cost many times greater than that, according to the .

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