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The Datacenter - Part 4: Power

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing datacenters, the tiered rating system, and the main components of the highest ranked datacenters. Today, we’ll talk about power. Because Network Alliance’s Tier 4 datacenter requires full redundancy of every piece of equipment, that means at least two of every single component—a lot of servers, a lot of fans, a lot of power!

Technology keeps getting smaller and faster. Universally, that’s good. Costs go down; performance goes up. But, the power required to keep these smaller, faster machines running is often overlooked. Even ten years ago, power and cooling costs were higher than the hardware itself! Hardware costs have gone down exponentially, but the electricity required to power the hardware hasn’t budged.

(Generators are used to keep systems running even during a power outage. Source: Generac)

If you walk in a server room, the first thing you’ll notice is how loud it is. In Network Alliance’s datacenter, we yell to talk to each other! Thousands and thousands of fans are running all the time inside server racks to keep machines from overheating. Your desktop PC fan is fairly quiet, but multiply three or four fans for each of the 1,000 servers in a room—overwhelming!

Since Tier 4 datacenters require full redundancy and fault tolerance, there’s at least two of everything. Even if you were crazy enough to run two identical servers simultaneously with additional backup power, you couldn’t stomach the electric bill at the end of the month! Yet,  it’s still more cost efficient to pay a subscription fee to a Tier 4 datacenter than try and host it yourself. Tier 4s also have a standby  main power supply, something you can’t get at Tiers 1, 2, or 3.

It might be expensive, but you can’t put a dollar value on the fact that a power outage won’t keep you from your data. Some IT companies will tell you that you don’t really need a Tier 4 datacenter, but are you willing to risk it? Could your company’s reputation survive if you lost your data? Only a Tier 4 datacenter can give you the guaranteed uptime, fault tolerance, and overall security your data deserves. Let Network Alliance “Change the way you see IT!” Next time, we’ll discuss the ingenious tricks for cooling a datacenter with this much power!

 

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