Sunday, 24th January 2021

The energy efficiency and disaster recovery colocation ecosystem

In today’s climate of COVID-19 uncertainty, technology leaders are challenged to focus on delivering business continuity and disaster recovery hand-in-hand, with accelerated preparedness for remote working. All whilst conscientiously looking to improve energy efficiency as data consumption continues to increase. By Vinny Vaghani, Co-Founder, Head of Operations and Commercials, IP House.

  • 06 Aug 2020 Posted in

Greater energy efficiency requires a multi-faceted approach, as with digital transformation and disaster recovery and providing the right systems are in place, a colocation data centre can bring all of these elements together within one ecosystem to provide a resilient operational environment. The 2020 State of the CIO Executive Summary by IDG cited that CEO’s top priorities for CIO’s were to lead digital business/digital transformation initiatives (39%) and to upgrade IT and data security to boost corporate resiliency (31%). The report also highlighted that 89% of IT leaders ‘believe the CIO increasingly needs to rely on trusted advisors to help navigate emerging technologies, processes and methodologies.’ Post pandemic a lone wolf approach to managing your IT infrastructure will not be as effective. McKinsey’s Digital strategy in a time of crisis highlights that the more people or organisations you add to a common solution space, the more quickly learning occurs—and the faster performance improves. Here there are key areas in which a colocation facility can serve as a collaborative environment to facilitate energy efficiency, whilst providing disaster recovery for the unknown.

The Butterfly Effect

A colocation data centre is a carefully managed ecosystem from design, through to operations, monitoring, maintenance, future proofing and scaling. Within that ecosystem each client is unique yet part of the greater whole. By improving the energy efficiency within the facility and energy consumption of equipment, substantial cost savings can be made and passed back to each customer to improve their operating expenditure (OpEx). At IP House, we believe it is our responsibility as colocation providers to provide optimal efficiency.

Boundary of Data centre Performance Per Energy (DPPE) Intelligent Efficiency ForData Centres & Wide Area Networks - IEA-4E EDNA, May 2019

Maximising Power Efficiency

Scalable colocation facilities can yield higher capital expenditure (CapEx) savings to reinvest in state-of-the-art equipment. Higher UPS efficiencies can also be achieved by deploying a modular, intelligent and modernised backup power system designed to be highly efficient at partial loads. Deploying a modular UPS system, for example, allows for incremental increases to utilised to reach the systems full capacity. By reducing and operating with power modules that are aligned with the correct number of battery strings less energy is spent on charging batteries, which are not being utilised by critical loads.

Powerful, high-performance battery modules, which feature advanced battery monitoring and temperature-compensated battery charging can extend battery life. Supplying 95% efficiency down to 30% loading, also reducing power and cooling costs.

Ambient Airflow

Cooling also presents an opportunity to reduce cost. In separating the cold and warm air, cooling systems are restricted to intake only the high temperature air and increasing the efficiency of the units operation; improving the cold air flow to critical IT equipment with maximum efficiency, minimal loss and precision control. By using hot air mitigation systems in combination with the in-depth sensors and monitoring, excess heat can be diverted so the cooling systems perform at optimum levels.

Next-Generation Real Time Monitoring

In the case of monitoring, next-generation Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) systems leverage AI and predictive analysis to consistently monitor energy usage, modelling efficiencies and provide extensive visibility across the entire colocation ecosystem. At IP House, our customers can take advantage of remote accessibility, viewing their data and IT systems anywhere, at any time via the Schneider Electric EcoStruxure IT™ app. Furthermore, it helps to optimise IT configurations and simplify infrastructure management, whilst providing resiliency and real time visibility.

Environmental sensors within the equipment alert facility operators and customers to changing conditions to allow precise reporting of the environment. Utilising next-generation DCIM to map environments and place equipment in “sweet spots”, alerts on environmental conditions allows for granular and proactive changes that maximise on the airflow delivery to the IT equipment. Extensive temperature sensing at multiple levels also equates to provide dynamic airflow mapping.

Additionally, next-generation monitoring offers the ability to analyse systems and predict when failures might occur, helping to mitigate risk and protect the data centre from downtime. In a lockdown scenario, this can be highly beneficial for customers and their managed service partners, offering increased visibility, whilst reducing the need for engineers to be on-site unless absolutely necessary.

5 Best Practise Future-Proofing Initiatives 1. Use DCIM and DRaaS in correlation for improved efficiency and resiliency. Technavio forecasts that Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) comprising public, private and hybrid cloud will accelerate at a CAGR of over 43% between 2020-2024 with one of the key drivers cited as improved manageability and protection.

2. Raise awareness of optimum temperatures for IT hardware in order to reduce energy wastage on excess cooling and achieve lower IT operating temperatures.

3. Increase the use of sustainable energy sources and natural air.

4. Recycling of heat energy and waste water generated by Data Centres.

5. Innovating new benchmarking metrics for colocation data centres that demonstrate exemplar sustainability initiatives.

Ultimately, Energy Efficiency leads to the IT Equipment

Modular colocation data centres who are diligent in space utilisation offer many benefits, not only from efficiency and cost savings but through more effective space planning, which allows for optimal rack loading.

The greatest benefit of the colocation ecosystem is to provide a fully supported, always accessible, efficient and resilient infrastructure, which affords each customer the opportunity to reinvest in their critical IT equipment and services. IP House manage “The 4 R’s” when it comes to energy efficiency: Rack, Row, Raised Floor and Room Level. By following this methodology, we extract the highest levels of operational efficiency to deliver at rack level into the IT equipment. The Uptime Institute Intelligence report Beyond PUE: Tackling IT’s wasted terawatts study of 300 data centres highlighted that IT kit older than five years accounted for 66% of IT energy use but contributing only 7% of the compute capacity.

Today, IP House is accredited to ISO 50001 Energy Management standards, which allows us to assess our energy use and expenditure and constantly make adjustments to the operational environment. This means we can offer a highly efficient and lowcost hosted environment for customers looking to outsource their critical IT requirements. For London-based organisations looking for a highly optimized, hosted IT Solutions, with disaster recovery services that offer increased business continuity, our house is your home.

Within the symbiosis of sustainability global concerns regarding sustainability and crisis preparedness, the colocation ecosystem can be an invaluable part of your post pandemic disaster recovery analysis and business continuity planning.

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