Articles

The quality of a datacenter is related to its power consumption optimization

Even if operators defend, the increase in electricity tariffs handed ‘flat’ traditional operation of data centers.

Originally for reasons of deadlines for placing on the market and economy of investment, the concept of the datacenter was modelled on that of the computer rooms. Investments were focused on technical equipment : air conditioners, electrical transformers, UPS… and their back-ups. For buildings, the model was the rehabilitation of space « offices »..

This approach has for some years exceeded its limits, and this for several reasons :

Too low electrical performance of these facilities

Recall here the requirements of a datacenter in electric power. To deliver power from 1kVA to hosted servers, It took additional 1kVA for air conditioning and double for each of their security system. Therefore a Bay of 10 kVA implied availability of 40 kVA.

The cost of this electric energy

Initially this cost was insignificant, but now a few years we are seeing an increase in annual and continuous between 5 and 7 % of this energy in the world : that is, in 4 years price per Kilowatt «took» more 25 % increase, and everything suggests that this escalation will continue (Source Reuters).

Quality of service guarantee in time

By definition, hosting servers is an approach that fits in the duration. For a Datacenter operator it means it must calculate its operating budget for several years, While most large amount was entirely outside its control : the cost of Kilowatt.
In this context, to maintain in operational condition their offerings, datacenter operators have only two solutions: either they regularly increase their rates to absorb this inflation, either they « are cutting back » on other expenses by agreeing to degrade the quality of their hosting services. The first approach is generally contractually impossible, It is only the second. It is ironic that it was precisely to prevent this degradation of the quality of the environment of its servers that the client has chosen to outsource its servers in a professional data center.
Let us not defeatist, because not only solutions exist and they are already marketed. Their implementations to generate substantial energy savings for a same accommodation capacity thanks to :

  1. The redesign of the cooling processes of data centers with the use of less expensive resources, natural resources as ambient air with free-cooling
  2. The use of inverters to inertia instead of batteries (less consumer of electric power for their maintenance in operational condition)
  3. An optimization of the use of certain equipment by the pooling of their function for the data center

In summary, We can consider that for a client the guarantee of the quality of a data center is its ability to optimize the use of electric power for computer servers hosting.

François Barre
Ingénieur Commercial Datacenter CELESTE

Computer rooms : key points

New uses of IT result in an increase in the number of servers the company to squeeze in the computer room and the electric power purchase. The room is not always appropriate in electrical terms, Networking and Security. But what of its servers ?

The alternative for server hosting is simple : develop a computer room in the premises of the company, even build their own data center or in a datacenter outsource open for business. To simplify datacenter call, space dedicated to the storage server that is located in a business or is operated by a company specializing in specific buildings.

For the proper functioning and security of servers, the data center must be

  • Powered by a high electrical power, with redundant power supplies. Double electric supply, generator, inverters will be required in case of high-availability power requirement
  • Secure both physically and technically to prevent tampering, elicitation or destruction of data or hardware.
  • Conditioned or cooled effectively to prevent overheating and hardware designed to reduce the risk of fire
  • Interconnected to the Internet with guaranteed speeds and symmetrical powerful to handle traffic from external users (website eg)

All these constraints are difficult to meet for an IT manager, often limited budgets. On one hand, the physical location of the premises is sometimes away from electricity substations, fiber networks or copper, access to resources and limited technical capabilities of the company. On the other hand, existing local, if they are lucky not to be confined (rarely the case in the Paris region admittedly), shall be provided and the costs can be very high : air conditioning systems, materials, work, Civil Engineering. Finally, this type of infrastructure are hidden costs that can encumber profitability : assurance, team training, fire controls, electricity bill, guarding or access control.. .

For a computer room forty servers in a standard configuration (low-density, air conditioning, key lock), we believe that thetotal investment reached 50 k € and a monthly charge of about operating 2,5 k€ (out servers and training).

The choice is pretty fast … However, for the choice of datacenter « outside » it is necessary to take into account 3 other settings outside of course the rates and conditions of sale or service specific constraints (approche green IT, billing consumption).

  1. Scalability of the accommodation on offer provider of short and medium term : particularly in terms of availability of additional bays and electric power (high-density) to compensate for the peak server activity (such balances for e-tailers)
  2. Service Offerings Site. Providing connections : connectivity offerings, rates, number of operators, high availability option connection and monitoring services. But also offers cabling, reboot servers, storage materials, boardroom …
  3. Geographical location ou more precisely accessibility for staff and providers. In addition to the distance, must be taken into account in a more comprehensive, time access and transport infrastructure (train, RER , parking..). Et the last but not the least, offer interconnection to facilitate remote administration of servers by business teams (the rate of, vpn ethernet)

Based on our clients’ projects, regardless of their location, and in conclusion, we advise companies wishing to optimize their network infrastructure spending by maximizing their availability a mixed solution : a computer room in their local small in terms of area but equipped with inverters and cooled servers for back-up, outsourcing servers on sites operated by professional and above all a safe and efficient management thanks to an interconnection level 2.

This solution allows to have a secure and redundant architecture across multiple physical sites while releasing stress and eligibilities electrical network