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Volta Data Centres Blog

Data Centre Power Down? We're Always On

Posted by Julian King on 15-Oct-2013 10:00:00

Julian King, Commercial Director of Volta Data Centres, explores why the security and reliability of power supply is the number one critical issue for data centres.

Power is a big issue for data centres in fact it is perhaps their number one critical issue. They use a lot of it and making sure it stays on is a primary concern in ensuring that essential IT services are not interrupted.

As society relies more and more on the electronic economy to conduct anything from mobile banking to trading the stock markets to storing our family photographs in the cloud, the more important it becomes to manage the risk that those services could be interrupted because of a failure in power supply.

A regular study into the data centre industry produced by the property company Jones Lang Lasalle¹ notes that the “continued success of the … data centre industry is inextricably interlinked to its ability to source a reliable and cost effective power solution.” The report also found that more than 60 per cent of people in the industry ranked the amount, availability, affordability and reliability of power as the most important factor when choosing a new data centre.

With that in mind recent stories about the possible threat of power shortages in the UK this coming winter take on a whole new dimension². Perhaps even more worrying are reports that have suggested the overall quality of our electricity is falling, causing surges and flickering as the power grid struggles to cope with the introduction of electricity from variable, renewable sources³.

The security and reliability of power supplies has never been more important.

When we opened our state-of-the-art facility in central London earlier this year power was an issue we took extremely seriously. The building that houses our infrastructure benefits from two separate power supplies coming from two independent sub-stations. Roughly speaking most of London would have to be blacked out before we needed to fire up our own back-up generators. It means we have a level of resilience no other central London data centre can match.

If we and other data centre providers are to help power economic growth through continued investment in state-of-the-art infrastructure then a secure, resilient power supply will continue to be our number one critical issue.

Please click here to see Julian King's video interview about the importance of a resilient power supply.
¹ Jones Lang Lasalle Data Centre Barometer 25/06/2013
² Sky News Online: ‘Winter Blackout Risk Highest For Six Years’
³ Reuters ‘UK electricity quality drops as renewable share rises

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