EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
STEVE WRIGHT , DATA CENTRE EXPERT , REDCENTRIC
nergy price hikes have hit the data centre industry
E hard and while a lot of investment has gone into energy efficiency , there ’ s no escaping the core requirement of a data centre : to power the servers . But how can they do this in a way that best serves the customer ?
So far , the government ’ s Energy Bill Relief Scheme for businesses has offered support for soaring bills , but it is still unclear what will happen once the financial aid is withdrawn .
On the back of the hikes experienced in 2022 and so far this year , UK energy bills are set to rise by over 50 % in April which means data centres , for example , have little choice but to pass on their cost increases to their customers or risk going out of business .
Data centre energy contracts
Data centres have typically negotiated their energy contracts on the basis of a two-three-year fixed rate or longer . However , in a changing market , it ’ s not easy to find those long-term agreements , especially ones offering optimum value . After all , being fixed at the highest rate is a risk if the market disruption resolves itself sooner than expected .
Instead , data centres are looking at dayahead markets to get the best possible rates . While it ’ s a more complicated way of buying electricity , it can generate significant cost savings compared to fixed-term contracts – savings that data centres can share with their customers . Of course , as with any variable contract , there is always the risk that costs will continue to climb . However , keeping an eye on these markets will also alert data centres to changing market conditions , so that if prices begin to plateau , they will be able to get a fixed-rate and affordable contract .
Protecting customers from price volatility
Despite price hikes , data centres continue to offer an economy of scale that surpasses what the majority of organisations could achieve in an on-premises server room . They should also be working on other ways to keep costs down ; for example , passing on energy price rises at-cost and at the minimum level the site can manage .
Other ways data centres can support customers include help with budgeting , being transparent with price rises and supporting efficiency goals that could make a real difference to energy bills .
For those not in data centres , it is worth investigating whether money can be
DESPITE PRICE HIKES , DATA CENTRES CONTINUE TO OFFER AN ECONOMY OF SCALE THAT SURPASSES WHAT THE MAJORITY OF ORGANISATIONS COULD ACHIEVE IN AN ON- PREMISES SERVER ROOM .
saved by moving IT infrastructure offsite . Despite the price hikes , data centres still offer greater cost- and energy-efficiency . In addition to cost savings , organisations also get the benefits of greater performance , higher reliability and the partnership that working with a data centre brings – all of which could lead to financial gains that will help you get through the energy crisis with greater resilience .
30 www . intelligentdatacentres . com