360is have recently completed a data centre migration from our primary location (shared with the Manchester University Supercomputer) into a new facility nearby. We continue to maintain a presence at both sites, which have layer-2 adjacency. The motivation for the move?
UK consumers are seeing domestic bills increase this year up by 18% for gas and 10% for electricity. The UK electricity price broadly tracks natural gas futures, so we can expect further rises in the months and years to come. Since 2004, electricity prices have doubled from below 3.0p/KWh to 6.0p/KWh. At that rate they will be between 8p and 9p per KWh by 2013, an increase of 40% from today.
UK Energy Prices, Gas and Electricity, 2004 to 2011, Source: BuyEnergyOnline
Since many companies sign 3-year contracts with their provider, increases of 30-40% in the power-portion of their data centre costs are common upon contract renewal. Although the long term trend for network bandwidth prices is down, the reduction is nowhere near enough to offset the power cost increase, particularly since most companies have modest bandwidth requirements.
Besides contracting with a new data centre, 360is have also deployed energy efficient virtualisation appliances to reduce overall power consumption. These systems provide large VM carrying capacity (upto 384GB RAM in a 1U unit) in a tiny power power envelope (between 120 and 300 Watts depending on utilisation), they can carry hundreds of VMs.
By re-contracting at a new site, and replacing commodity systems from HP and Dell with dedicated virtualisation appliances, we have been able to mitigate the hike in power costs.
If you have received a shock when presented with a new data centre, hosting, or colocation contract then speak to one of our consultants. Together we can formulate a long term strategy to better insulate you from increasing power costs.