Next Generation Data: Thinking Power

Thinking Power

By Steve Davis 08 | May | 2015

Steve Davis, Marketing Director, Next Generation Data

Britain’s internet demand is expanding so fast that it could consume the nation’s entire power supply by 2035 scientists have told the Royal Society this week.

Hopefully it won’t come to that but Andrew Ellis, professor of optical communications at Aston University, has told the “Capacity Crunch” conference that data storage and transmission on the internet, along with devices such as PCs and TVs, are already consuming at least 8% and as much as 16% of Britain’s power — and doubling every four years.

This problem is already hitting some data centres and as a result they are limiting the power available to the racks hosted in their facilities. In some cases this can be as low as 2 kW. This was fine a few years ago but now the higher density racks being installed demand much more power. And while virtualisation and other new technologies allow huge improvements of IT efficiency more power to each rack is a pre-requisite to run them.

Because of this it is not unusual for some data centres to force customers to take more space (and charge for it) than necessary purely to deliver the power required.

This problem is only going to get worse. Make sure you choose a data centre which has the ability to deliver the right levels of power now, have plenty in reserve for the future and won’t penalise you by making you take more space than you really need.

Also ensure your data centre provider can actually deliver the amount of power it has contracted to. There have been cases where power availability has been ‘oversold’ as some providers have gambled on the fact that not all customers will use all their allocated amount of power at the same time.

A data centre relationship should last for many years. Apart from risking business continuity and competitive edge through unreliable or insufficient power, having to make an unplanned move from one data centre provider to another will be a time consuming and costly exercise.

For data centre users it is essential to do your homework sooner than later as increasingly, when it comes to the power game, there will be those facilities that have it and those that don’t.