Data Centre Energy Efficiency – Now a Prerequisite for South Africa
Data centre power management is fast becoming a key differentiator in the data centre market. Against the backdrop of power outages and the risk of continued future load shedding, efficient power management and utilising renewable energy are now essential says Brendan Dysel, Head of Infrastructure Management at Teraco.
“With an influx of international organisations deploying in South Africa, green and renewable energies are deemed the norm. Finding greener designs to reduce mechanical energy is an absolute prerequisite in today’s South African data centre designs. With the proposed National Energy Regulator (NERSA) power increases over the next three years, these green designs will escalate the ROI of the capital equipment and provide data centre operators with better efficiencies, thus reducing the burden on clients with increased electricity prices,” says Dysel.
South African Data Centre Landscape
He adds that issues of power uncertainty coupled with the entrance of international organisations have led to a noticeable shift in the South African data centre landscape over the past two years. “Data centre designs have also moved towards accommodating hyperscale clients, but remaining flexible enough, however, to still cater to the retail co-location environment.
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With ongoing load shedding, voltage fluctuations are becoming more frequent and can have disastrous effects on legacy data centre builds, specifically on the refrigerant cooling systems in terms of predicted life spans.” In addition to greener and more efficient energy solutions, data centre power management provides a useful tool to understand where losses are generated within the system allowing for better future designs and power optimisation to reduce losses linked to IT usage rather than end-state design parameters.
Dysel says this ultimately provides vendor-neutral co-location providers with a toolset to monitor and manage power usage and losses within the electrical and mechanical facility as co-location providers do not have control over clients’ IT environment, which is one of several advantages of vendor-neutral data centres.
“The advantage of a true vendor-neutral data centre is that the provider is purely focused on critical engineering infrastructure, physical security and interconnections between clients and the ecosystem. This enables dedicated skill sets to focus on the heart of the data centre, ensuring excellent service and quality in maintaining the uptime and SLAs,” says Deysel.
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