Will the UK Energy Gap End in Data Centre Disaster?

During 2015 there were 640 power outages reported across the United Kingdom. This number represents a sizeable 19% increase on the 537 outages that were reported during the previous year. Over 2.5 million people were affected. This trend is expected to continue, with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) predicting that the UK faces an electricity supply gap of up-to 55% by 2025.

Although this increase in power supply problems will no doubt disrupt society at large, it will have its greatest impact on industries that rely on a consistent and reliable energy supply – one of those, of course, being the IT sector. Over the past few years there has been an increasing effort, both by the government and data centre designers, to improve power usage efficiency in the IT industry. The introduction of ISO50001 and the ESOS Energy Compliance scheme are the first of a number industry-wide standards and regulations that aim to help organisations to monitor and control their power costs.

Whilst this long-term effort to increase energy efficiency will help to narrow the energy gap, many IT managers will be more concerned with the here and now. How can you monitor and manage your power usage so that you can ensure you are in the best possible position to weather the effects of increasing power outages?

The first port of call will be to accurately monitor your current power usage. The information gathered will allow you to quickly identify if your current UPS systems are suitable. The average length of power failures during 2015 was 3 ½ hours; could your UPS sustain your data centre or server room for that time period or will it struggle to even allow you enough time to ensure that equipment is safely shutdown? Providing that power usage data is collected down to rack-level it can also be used to identify particularly power-hungry equipment. Could these be replaced to reduce running costs?

With the introduction of our unique PowerZook power monitoring sensor, we will be producing more articles delving further in to power usage within the server room and data centre over the coming months –  please do check back to read our latest articles.

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Source: Electrical Times