Sparks Electrical News

Data centre resilience has become more crucial than ever before as increasing volumes of transactions move to the cloud and paper-based data is digitised. Whether an organisation owns its own data centre facility or outsources the service, the principles of redundancy and resilience need to be applied to the power chain.

Every major financial institution, mobile network and owner of sensitive information must ensure that its business-critical infrastructure is continuously available. Data centre resilience and robustness is achieved by adhering to the highest international standards. Every aspect of data centre specification, building and implementation is critical to business continuity.

UPS design and maintenance critical in ensuring uptime

But what does this mean for data centres and the CIOs that need to ensure their optimum performance and always-on service? Firstly, regarding power management, a well-designed 2N redundant system has every leg of the power chain duplicated from the utility input to the eventual points of consumption. During design stage of the power chain in a 2N environment every aspect of the power chain is analysed against set standards resulting in the elimination of single points of failure. Mitigation of single points of failure should be the aim of every data centre owner. Once success is realised and all single points of failure have been reduced to zero, data centre resilience is achieved. Dual redundancy of data centres means the power architecture includes at least two separate main power sources, multiple uninterruptable power supply (UPS) units (battery packs) and a minimum of two generators.

Choosing the right UPS

Specifying the appropriate uninterruptable power supply (UPS) for a data centre environment is a multi-dimensional task that involves decisions on efficiency, integration into existing environments, availability, flexibility, cybersecurity and so on. It’s a decision that must be taken based on the organisation’s overall strategy and modernisation investment. The most suitable type of UPS (single-phase or three-phase) also depends on whether the UPS is used in computer rooms, network closets, small data centres or large data centres.

Maintenance and support

Installing a back-power system is only the first step in guaranteeing availability of services. A regular maintenance schedule, along with comprehensive change management policies, offers additional assurance that the system will be perform as expected when called upon. Preventative maintenance along with an OEM-backed ‘around-the-clock’ service level agreement can ensure that issues are rectified without delay with the support of the manufacturer or certified service provider, in the unlikely event of products underperforming.

Modern UPS technology has improved power density by more than 50% in recent years, meaning that UPSs can be built to smaller footprints to reduce space requirements, while UPS generated heat losses have reduced by 40% owing to lower power losses, reducing cooling requirements.

Ultimately, any power back up design must be supported by a thorough understanding of current and future requirements, as well as a proactive maintenance schedule, with continuous improvement in efficiency and responsiveness.



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