Outages remain a major concern, says Uptime Institute
On Monday, the Uptime Institute - the organisation responsible for the industry standard Tier I-III ranking system for data centre resilience - released its third Annual Outage Analysis report.
While the report notes that technological and data centre management advances have improved the ability of data centres to avoid unplanned outages, these costly events remain “a major industry, customer, and regulatory concern.”
The report also notes that, while outages are becoming less common, the centralisation of the data centre industry, and the increased reliance on data centres as critical infrastructure during the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in “the overall impact and direct and indirect cost of outages” continuing to increase.
"Resiliency remains near the top of management priorities when delivering business services," said Andy Lawrence, executive director of research at the Uptime Institute.
He added: "Overall, the causes of outages are changing, software and IT configuration issues are becoming more common, while power issues are now less likely to cause a major IT service outage. The fact is outages remain common and justify the increased concern and investment in preventing them. Because of the disruption and high costs that result from disrupted IT services, identifying and analysing the root causes of failures is a critical step in avoiding more expensive problems."
Some key finding from the report include the fact that almost half (44%) of data centre operators have felt concern over outages rise in the past year, and around 75% of of operators and IT managers surveyed said they’d experienced an outage in the past three years, with around 30% describing those outages as having a on their business.
The Human Element
Human error continues to play a significant role in most data centre outages, the report found. In the Uptime Institute’s 2020 survey, three-quarters of respondents who had experienced an outage in the past three years attributed their issue to human error, claiming that the downtime incident could have been prevented with “better management or processes.”
Sustainability and PUE reduction in data centres
The data centre industry is at a crossroads. As demand for colocation, hyperscale cloud, and edge solutions continues to rise, operators and enterprises are also facing up to the reality that sustainable design and operating practice are a mission critical component of the modern data centre. Going green is no longer an optional extra.
Data centres are becoming an increasingly critical foundation that underpins the modern world, and the demand for them continues to grow exponentially each year. Data centres must remain in constant operation in order to provide the services for which customers depend on them.
This mission critical need, combined with the sector-wide push towards reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint throughout the industry, is making the search for innovative evaporative media solutions that keep systems running at peak efficiency an equally mission critical priority.
The two main sources of energy consumption in a modern data centre are its IT equipment and the cooling infrastructure used to keep that equipment cool. A 2017 study found that energy consumption as the direct result of cooling data centre IT equipment can amount to over 40% of the total energy consumption in a facility. From air cooling to liquid and evaporative chillers, data centre operators, finding the right cooling solution for your facility is a top-of-mind goal for any data centre operator.
Portacool: keeping it Kuul
Based in Center, Texas, Portacool is a portable evaporative cooling solutions firm that has been pushing the boundaries of mission critical infrastructure cooling technology since it entered the market in 1990.
Through constant embodiment of its five brand pillars - Safety & Liability, Total Cost of Ownership, Productivity & Performance, Sustainability & Social Responsibility, and Life & Comfort Enhancing Solutions - Portacool has grown steadily over the past 30 years, continually reinforcing its reputation for industry-leading cooling solutions.
Portacool’s solutions have been successfully applied throughout the agricultural and horticultural, manufacturing, industrial, business, entertainment, sports, home, and hobby industries - “anywhere cooling is needed and traditional air conditioning is impractical or cost prohibitive.”
The company’s sub-brand, Kuul, is Portacool’s answer to the growing need for reliable, sustainable cooling solutions in the data centre sector. Portacool manufactures three series of evaporative media – Kuul Control, Kuul Vitality and Kuul Comfort. Kuul Control is used in data centres, power generation and HVAC systems. Kuul Vitality is utilised primarily in the horticulture, poultry and swine industries. Kuul Comfort is exclusively made for usage in Portacool-branded portable evaporative coolers.
Kuul can help data centre operators lower their PUE dramatically, increasing the environmental sustainability of their facilities significantly as a result of its rigid evaporative media solutions.