To achieve 99.999%+ uptime, datacentre operators invest heavily in systems to compensate for blackouts and brownouts; backup generators, automatic transfer switches and UPS systems are synonymous with datacentres. These contingency systems are just that – there for unforeseen events or outages.
These systems are designed to run for limited amounts of time, only coming online when the mains supply is unavailable or when the supply is out of spec. Despite the numerous safeguards and power backups systems, datacentres ultimately demand a reliable mains electricity supply with headroom to allow their business to grow.
Heywood House, Wi-Manx’s Isle of Man Datacentre, features redundant generator and UPS systems – a prerequisite for any datacentre. We have seen the growing demand for power and cooling first-hand. Next generation servers, storage area networks and high density compute clusters draw more power and output heat at a growing rate.
This growth in demand is widespread and is something Wi-Manx sees every day. Datacentre power consumption is growing at a rapid rate. According to the Datacentre Dynamics Global Census 2012, between 2011 and 2012, datacentre power requirements grew by 63% globally. The reason for this growth is simple. Online gaming, mobile, cloud, software as a service, social networking, big data and many other platform solutions are driving this demand for datacentre space.
With no sign of this demand curtailing, it is fair to assume power demand will grow at similar rates. It is therefore vital that your datacentre or jurisdiction has access to an electricity grid with the capacity and reliability to deliver going forward.
Recent press in the UK has perhaps demonstrated some of the frailties of the UK electricity grid. Paul Massara, the chief execute of the UK energy company Npower recently commented;
“The amount of spare capacity to meet the peak requirement… has dropped from somewhere around 15% to 5%. That is extremely low by historical levels… and unless the UK can create a politically stable environment to attract new capital, that new capital will not come in”
Lack of spare capacity is only one concern. Volatile pricing and the prospect of price rises further compounds the issue.
This must be a concern for any UK or European business that relies on a datacentre for their business to function. Knowing there is limited spare capacity in the grid may hinder growth and inadvertently lead to blackouts and brownouts, a situation that is not good for any datacentre. This is where the Isle of Man stands out. The Isle of Man electricity grid has around 30% spare capacity and a modern infrastructure that can cater for the exponential growth in online business.
The Isle of Man has its own electricity system through the Manx Electricity Authority (MEA). The MEA has modern power stations, is able to generate its own electricity and is bolstered by an additional subsea interconnect with the UK national grid. This reliable power infrastructure is fast becoming a key USP for the Isle of Man and reaffirms its place as a world-class location for critical ICT systems and datacentre infrastructure.
Our Heywood House datacentre benefits from the Isle of Man Government’s investment in its power infrastructure, an investment that is seemingly lacking in the UK. Wi-Manx can meet the ever-growing demand for colocation, cloud and hosted services. Businesses are choosing to host their critical ICT systems in our Isle of Man datacentre, drawn by the world-class infrastructure and competitive pricing. Many other leading global companies leverage the Isle of Man’s unique location and autonomous nature as their secondary site, replicating their key systems and data assets as part of their disaster recovery strategy.
Whilst the UK is facing many challenges with their electricity grid and energy policy, the Isle of Man is very much business as usual.
Wi-Manx is an established datacentre, hosting and network solutions provider in the Isle of Man. Their Isle of Man datacentre features the latest generation of power, cooling, security, hosting and network infrastructure. With customers spanning several continents and many verticals, Wi-Manx and the Isle of Man should be your first choice for highly available, secure and reliable hosting in the UK and Europe.