UK businesses starting to suffer the consequence of the power crunch

As energy costs spiral and energy consumption increases, companies are starting to review how this is impacting their business, including IT strategies and usage.

Over the last few weeks there have been a number of incidents of companies suffering from power loss in their data centres. Some companies are taking action, including Dresdner Kleinwort, which has recently announced it is moving out of Docklands for this very reason. But a move like that takes months if not years of planning and can't be achieved overnight. So what are the options?

Andy Butcher, head of service development at Calyx Group, the leading independent end-to-end provider of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) in the UK and Ireland thinks that there is a lack of power in the UK's common datacentres as most were designed in the late 1980's early 90's where the "power crunch" was not considered. However, by virtualising, businesses are driving up the power requirements per rack. This results in the challenge of cooling due to the heat generated.

The single biggest challenge we face for going green is measuring consumption and change. Datacentre efficiency can be measured with power usage effectiveness (PUE) and datacentre infrastructure efficiency (DCiE), which allows for reductions in power to be planned, predicted and measured.

It is a question of working towards green nirvana. It can't be achieved overnight. Companies need to measure where they are today, measure carbon footprint and of course what that means to the business in terms of operational costs and potential taxation and carbon credit costs. At this stage, short, medium and long term plans can be developed based on cultural change, technical advancement and rationalisation.

Butcher continues: "We take the holistic view that many factors will effect change and bring significant business benefits. Considerations include everything from compliance to environmental objectives across the supply chain and cutting costs in ICT equipment, operational costs and energy costs.

"We are working with our customers to identify what change they are willing to accept. That way, we can build predictability, growth and change into a joint desire to benefit from adopting green initiatives and policies.”

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