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Posted by Dan Akister on 07-Dec-2021 18:29:56

How much do you know about your data centre’s power?


Discussing a subject that’s so close to our hearts is often difficult to do without bias. However, when it comes to power consumption and energy efficiency, it’s important that you really look at how your data centre runs on a day to day basis.

Data centres are always on. It’s a 24/7 industry. This means that the power is always on too, so it’s vital that providers look to improve their energy efficiencies wherever possible. Some providers will cite renewable energy as a step towards sustainability, but beware - as this can often be more or less a tick box exercise. The energy required to maintain renewable energy infrastructures can be a problem because the facility costs are quite high and the infrastructure can be expensive. That means that these renewable sources - wind, hydro etc. can actually require more net-power generation to run than they would create for quite some time. That isn’t to say these efforts aren’t admirable, but to put it in simpler terms, if a company spends £10 Million to fix a problem that would only cost them £5 Million – it doesn’t make sense. Similar theory in play here.

Understanding the charges
Data centres charge customers for the power usage to their servers - of course. So one thing you need to be aware of - particularly at the moment, is the rising price of power. Looking for cheap energy may be a thing of the past. The industry has seen absolutely meteoric rises in costs through 2021, with some data centre providers now pushing these increases onto their clients. Data centres buy their energy in bulk, and fix into contracts and deals in the same way that you would with your household energy bills. Some provider's contracts will be running out soon which could result in sudden price hikes, while others failed to foresee the situation and didn't lock into lower prices prior to the price hikes, so watch out for this - your colocation power bills could be going up soon if your provider hasn’t bagged themselves a decent deal. 

Giving back to the grid
Obviously servers “ramp up” during business hours and as such can cause surges in demand for electricity. It’s the job of the data centre to ensure that the flow of power is not only consistent, but also environmentally friendly. There was once the equivalent of 300,000 kettles switched on at once after an episode of Coronation Street, causing a 800MW surge on the grid. This has also been met with other surges such as the Rugby World Cup Final between England and Australia (844,000 kettles) and the World Cup Quarter Final between England and Brazil (1,028,000 kettles). What we’re getting at here is that drawing power, all the time and not dealing with potential surges can be harmful to supply. At Teledata we draw power from the grid at off peak times and store it, so any surges in demand are met firstly with our excess stored power. This ensures a consistency in supply and any extra power is stored in our 2 MW battery storage facility, so we can actually store energy for the National Grid, and supply it back to them if required.

To find out more about our power, please do get in touch here or call us on 0161 498 1200.

Topics: data centre, it industry, power, carbon neutrality, environment

Dan Akister

Written by Dan Akister

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