Data centres comparison – let’s make it easy by Roy Gibbens, 28th August 2019

“How much will my data centre cost to operate?”

This is typically not an easy question to answer and making a comparison between options available out in the market is, well, let’s say challenging. Rental charges are an easy comparison to perform, but that’s less than half the story. What about the cost of the electricity used in the data centre?
That’s where Ark’s new cost Data Centre Calculator tool comes in.

The biggest challenge always surrounds PUE (Power Usage Efficiency). For anyone not familiar with PUE, it’s a critical factor when calculating running costs of a data centre. This is made all the more challenging by the very nature of PUE being a variable, affected by the percentage of IT load in a data centre, weather conditions, your IT set up itself and many other factors that are in many instances out of a mere mortal’s control. Yes, you can reduce PUE by effective cold and hot aisle containment within a data centre but other factors like a hot summer day will always remain out of your reach. This is why back in 2013 we pioneered fixed PUE models, reducing costs and removing operational variance. Without the security that this model affords anyone operating a data centre is at the mercy of a constantly varying PUE. Take a look at the graph, it depicts a typical UK PUE and aptly demonstrates the intrinsic link between load and PUE, our foxed PUE models eliminate this huge variance delivering cost certainty and predictability.

 

Typical Variable PUE Graph - showing a correlation between higher IT loads and better PUE ratios
Typical Variable PUE Graph

 

So, we’ve lifted the lid of the PUE ‘illusion’ and simplified calculations with the launch of our new Data Centre Cost Comparison Tool. After all, what you really want to know is how much money will you save by becoming a client of Ark? What will you realise in savings? How predictable are your ongoing data centre operational costs?

To use our new tool you will need to come armed with just three facts, but you won’t need a PhD in data centres to drive it either. What you will need:

  1. WHAT IS MY IT LOAD?
    This is the total amount of power in kW (kilowatts) that your IT racks consume. The industry average is currently around 4kW per rack and around 20kW per rack for HPC environments.
  2. WHAT IS MY kWh COST?
    This is the cost per kWh (kilowatt-hour) that your utility or data centre provider charge you for the power consumed by your IT equipment. We’ve defaulted our tool to the UK average if you are unsure.
  3. WHAT IS MY PUE RATIO?
    As discussed above, PUE measures how efficiently a data centre uses energy to run the IT and cool it. In a perfect world, PUE would be 1.0 but typical figures are around 2.0. More info can be found here.

Simply, use the sliders on the tool to see an immediate result of how much you could save annually and a five-year comparison too. We are sure the combination of some of the world’s most efficient data centres, combined with some of the industry’s most aggressive power-procurement and our fixed PUE models will demonstrate why you want to talk to Ark Data Centres today. At a load of just 100kW, when compared to a colocation provider charging 15p kW/hr and running at an average PUE of 1.93, then you would save £742,410 over a five-year term – that’s a significant top-up of anyone’s IT budget. If we push that comparison out to 1MW operating at a PUE of 1.6 with power charged at 12p kW/hr then over the same term the savings are a staggering £3,153,600.

Ark’s new Data Centre Cost Calculator gives you instantaneous cost comparisons – so give it a try, see what you could save with Ark Data Centres and get in touch with us to discuss your needs in more detail.