London 2012 related power surge risks highlighted
London-based data centre operators are being advised to prepare for impacts on power supply during London 2012. Uninterruptible Power Supplies Limited says that an expected significant increase in power consumption across the capital may result in power surges and supply quality problems.
"It's virtually impossible to predict the true impact the Olympics will have on power consumption with any degree of certainty so, with that in mind, it is imperative that those responsible for maintaining the most critical facilities have adequate safeguards in place," said Mike Elms, technical services manager for the company.
Within the data centre industry very few facilities would today be without a power protection strategy, including a UPS. However, ensuring the system is still able to cope with a load that has grown significantly since the UPS system was commissioned is a more relevant issue, as Mr. Elms explains:
"In the past we have visited sites where the size of the load has grown to where the UPS system has lost a level of redundancy or in a few cases, where the capacity of the UPS no longer meets the load it is supporting. “If there was a major disruption in one of these facilities, it is highly likely critical applications would be affected. It may sound alarmist but all the potential disruptions being discussed are possible so with this increased level of risk, it is vital that data centre operators spend some time assessing their system and formulating a plan to deal with any eventuality.
“The more prepared an operation is, the better an entire network environment can handle downtime or an outage."
Technology analyst Ovum has suggested that operators manage potential power shortfalls by switching off non-critical applications. However, as Conleth McCallan, managing director for hosting & connectivity provider, Datanet, explains, for many, this is simply not possible:
"I don't think anyone is expecting major disruptions throughout the games. After all, those working with the games' organising committee have had plenty of time to guarantee this isn't the case.
“Having said that, we are making sure all maintenance is completed prior the games, and our existing procedures ensure all systems have appropriate levels of back-up power protection. At Datanet, we rely on our reputation for 24/7 continuity and any disruption has the potential to damage that reputation, so for us, and our clients, it is definitely a case of better to be safe than sorry."
•Date: 29th May 2012 • UK •Type: Article • Topic: London 2012 business continuity