Data centres have to provide optimum performance

Helping customers identify the right solutions for their needs

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As we increasingly consume cloud services, social media applications and shop, bank and work online, the demand on data centres to manage, process and store this data also grows. Ensuring the optimum performance of the data centre at all times is therefore critical. Ask any service provider, and they will tell you that a significant chunk of their budget and resource is continuously invested into avoiding system downtime.

The causes of data centre power outages can be hard to predict: human error, equipment failure and external power disruption are all unpredictable. But there are some measures operators can take into account when designing their data centres that can help to maximise the resilience of their infrastructure from the outset, and potentially future-proof their facilities from any changes to the ageing power distribution network. Data centres need to protect their power supply so that, in the event of a mains failure, servers keep on running and users do not experience any service interruptions. Most commonly, this power protection comes in the form of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems, which provide continuously clean power into the data centre, even in the event of a total power failure.

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As winter approaches and we are faced with increasing warnings about the risk of both short and long-term energy shortages, now is a good time to think about the power structure that supports data centre operations. It is no secret that the National Grid is struggling to meet current demand, with little significant increase in power generation capability planned in the next decade other than from renewables (particularly wind-generated).

This impacts on the stability of the National Grid, with increased grid-switching (increasing risk of micro-breaks and voltage dips) and the requirement for larger power consumers to take themselves off-grid during times of peak demand.

This is the ideal opportunity for data centres to consider smart grid technology and on-site power generation as an alternative to reliance on traditional grid supply. Energy efficiency, cost-savings and demand-response payments from the suppliers themselves are just some of the incentives for large power consumers such as data centres to move away from complete dependence on the grid. Embracing new technology such as Super-Caps, DC flywheels and lithium-ion batteries as forms of energy storage, combined with UPS, generators and solar panels will make data centres of the future efficient, resilient and environmentally sound.

Riello UPS manufactures products designed to ensure power quality and business continuity, guaranteeing a clean, reliable power supply and system performance even in the event of critical situations. Our approach is based on helping customers identify the right combined UPS solution for their needs – whether they are running a data centre or any other operation where a continuous electrical supply is vital.

Leo Craig is general manager of Riello UPS
0800 269 394
www.riello-ups.co.uk