UK heatwave puts data centres under pressure

data centres battling the heat

It’s been great news for ice-cream sellers, but not so good for the IT industry as the UK faced its second-hottest day on record. As we know, data centres require cooling to prevent downtime, and the current heatwave and humidity sweeping Britain, are huge challenges in the battle against outages.

A huge cost for running a data centre, is power. It’s also the primary cause of downtime. A typical air-cooled data centre has up to 40% of its electrical power devoted to cooling.

Data centre outages are on the increase, according to the 2019 survey from the Uptime Institute, which shows 31% of respondents have experienced an IT downtime incident or severe service degradation over the past year. This is a surprising rise, as 25% reported these issues in the 2018 survey.

Our engineers received calls from companies during this week’s heatwave. This is due to traditional data centres running at 100% of their cooling capacity in hot weather, putting pressure on the cooling system. Consequently, these conditions lead to overheating, which in turn causes IT failures.

Almost one-third of organisations reported a data loss because of data centre outages over the past year. In contrast, our data centres are a highly resilient foundation for critical IT operations, as we host business-critical data with the assurance of dual feed power supplies, generator and UPS back-up to guarantee 99.995% availability.

We’ve taken a radical approach, one that keeps the importance of green IT in mind. Our Tier III and Tier 4 Design data centres are powered and cooled in an ecologically friendly way.

Back in 2010, we established our green credentials by opening the most energy efficient data centre in Europe. Our impressive PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) frequently hits a target 1.1, which enables us to provide stable contracts that aren’t subject to rising power costs.

Considering the typical industry PUE score is 2.0 and that major players struggle to keep pace with our efficiency, we’re in a fantastic position to offer hosting at an attractive price, backed up by impressive resiliency.

Yesterday’s temperature recorded outside our main data centre was 38.3° C, yet, inside, temperatures ranged between 22-24° C, provided by our resilient cooling system. Through having 25-30% spare capacity for cooling, we handled the hot weather without any problems, plus we always have back-up through CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning).

Brian Meredith, Blue Chip’s Managing Director explained the ecological credentials that drive our data centre cooling.

“By using evaporative cooling technology instead of refrigeration, we can reduce our indirect electricity use by over 90%. By designing in the lowest possible energy use in this data centre we are putting both Blue Chip and our customers in the best possible position for the future.”

To find out more about what to look for in a data centre, contact us today.


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