Our Green Data Centres
All of the electricity used by our data centres comes from SSE, our renewable supplier
We can help organisations save energy and money, without sacrificing continuity and ultra-fast connectivity. We continually strive to improve our data centres’ energy efficiency and invest heavily in green technologies to ensure we can pass on any cost saving directly back to our customers.
Data centres now contribute an estimated 5% of the EU’s electricity usage. Find out how we ensure our data centres run to the optimum efficiency.
Over the next 10 years, data centre energy consumption and energy costs are expected to double. Minimising the energy footprint of IT infrastructure should therefore be a strategic priority for any business seeking to protect profitability.
We have a commitment to reduce carbon emissions throughout our business and continuous investment in increasing our green credentials. We have a fully documented environmental policy outlining our carbon reduction commitments and targets.
Whilst there are many measures of data centre operational efficiency and environmental best practice management, one of the more referenced benchmarks is PUE. PUE and data centre infrastructure management (DCiM) provide industry standard benchmarks which seek to confirm the conversion of power to a customer rack to the overall electrical consumption required to provide an appropriate hosting facility.
As a group we monitor PUE in significant detail, but it is only one of many data centre KPIs we monitor with the overriding objective to increase efficiencies and reduce overall power consumption. This not only benefits the environment but also allows us to better utilise the available power in our data centres, ensuring more is available for customer consumption and costs are reduced.
An example of this is within our South London facility where our continuous investment program is driving greater efficiencies for our customers.
|South London data centre||(Sept 2011 Avg)||(Oct 2012 Avg)|
At Pulsant we continually strive to improve the efficiency of our data centres. The more efficient the data centre, the more saving we can pass on to our customers and our South London data centre is a great example.
In January 2012 we replaced the entire cooling infrastructure in the existing data centre. This equated to an investment of circa £400,000 which implemented the most efficient condensing air handling units with variable speed.
We replaced and upgraded the condensing units to the main building and installed these in an architecture which vents hot air directly upwards, reducing overall fan power by 65%.
We also increased our use of blended filtered fresh air cooling to the plant rooms and main data hall to 20%.
Since deploying cold aisle containment across our data centre estate we have recognised significant efficiency gains of circa 30%.
We have also implemented cold aisle containment, with the accepted challenges of caged environments, following extensive thermal imaging analysis of the data hall. We have decreased the set points and electrical power consumption of the air handling units by 3 degrees as a result.
Each degree represents an annual KwH of 100,000, which is a significant reduction in energy and cost.
We have completed a deep clean of the facilities and reviewed all cabling and containment structures to optimise under floor air flow, whilst working with customers to extensively use rack blanking plates and best practice for cabling management. We have also replaced the lighting across the South London data centre with more efficient Lux bulbs and fittings.
Pulsant is already consuming only renewably sourced electricity from our single strategic provider in SSE Renewables. This incurs a slight premium of fossil fuel sourced electricity but it does mean we as a business are being more responsible in terms of our sustainable power consumption.
We are active members of Green Grid and Matt Lovell, our CTO, is an elective member of the Green Grid council. We are also working with the UK government alongside other data centre providers on government schemes to drive more focus on renewable and sustainable support for high power intensive users which data centre providers clearly are.
Server utilisation is a critical metric to determine efficiency, yet it can be difficult and subjective to measure. Many colocation customers operate legacy power hungry equipment; frequently these servers contain only one host making them appear inefficient. However, they often have a high utilisation. This legacy infrastructure often only contains a single power supply giving a low Mhz to KwH figure of < 0.5 (a key factor in determining efficiency).
In contrast, a modern higher efficiency server can have many cores and multiple virtualised hosts. This new infrastructure has great potential yet often has minimal utilisation, frequently being idle. A rough approximation of new server technology utilisation is ~12%; the industry average is 10.4% according to 2012 published reports from IBM Global Watch research.
We are now actively targeting colocation customers hosting legacy equipment to drive the next phase of efficiencies throughout our data centres. We are looking at optimising air flow and power management of both M&E and IT server/storage equipment in lower periods of usage.