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.”
DEWA, Huawei to build Dubai’s largest green data centre
Moro Hub, a subsidiary of the digital arm of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), signed an agreement with Chinese tech giant Huawei over the weekend to build a new hyperscale data centre in the city. Taking advantage of an abundance of solar power available in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the new facility will be 100% powered by renewable electricity generated by photovoltaic infrastructure located within the Emirates.
With the potential to reach a capacity of 100 MW upon full buildout, the facility is set to become the largest solar-powered, Uptime Institute Tier III-certified green data centre in the Middle East and Africa.
The project is part of the Dubai 10x initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and will support the Emirate’s goal of developing into “a city of the future, putting it 10 years ahead of other global cities,” according to Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of the DEWA.
The signing event, attended by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, and Mr Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, and signed by Marwan Bin Haidar, Vice Chairman and Group CEO Digital DEWA and Mr Jerry Liu, CEO of Huawei UAE - Courtesy of DEWA
Al Tayer added that the project, “meets our ambition to deliver sustainable digital transformation and anticipate and shape the future,” and “supports the UAE Centennial 2071 to make the UAE the world's leading nation and the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.”
The facility will, according to Al Tayer, also support Dubai’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions by 16% before the end of the year, as well as its goal of meeting 75% of the city’s power demands with clean energy by 2050, and “significantly aids DEWA’s progress towards sustainable development.”
Moro Hub already operates one green data centre in the Emirate, which came online in October of 2020. The facility was the first Tier-III green data centre to come online in the Middle East.
Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, was also present at the signing ceremony held on Saturday. He commented that the new association between Huawei and the DEWA, “allows us to strengthen our partnership with Moro Hub and take part in fortifying the UAE's sustainable development goals.”