For Tech entrepreneurs, specifying the appropriate Uninterruptible Power Supply for a data centre or Information Technology environment is a multi-dimensional task that involves decisions on efficiency, integration into existing environments, availability, flexibility, cybersecurity and beyond. It is a decision that must be taken based on the organisation’s overall strategy and modernisation investment.
Entrepreneurs in the business of designing modern UPS have always been told that, there are obvious considerations around the type of UPS that is suitable – single-phase or three-phase. This depends on whether the UPS is destined for computer rooms, network closets and small data centres or a large data centre.
According to established entrepreneurs in the business, there are also considerations around availability, reliability, form factor, ease-of-integration and environmental footprint, but these are minimum expectations. A UPS must go way beyond these to deliver smarter power management and business value.
Data centre demand is going up, and while data centres must respond accordingly with increases in capacity, the clear trends are not for organisations to open more facilities, but to respond by investing to make the existing infrastructure more efficient. Up-to-date infrastructure is the key to running a successful, efficient and cost-effective facility and it’s met, largely, with a move towards virtualised and more energy-efficient systems.
Modernisation through replacing older equipment, refurbishing facilities, virtualising environments and automating wherever possible makes it easier to consolidate and reduce operational costs in real estate, energy and work force. It’s not just about core Information Technology systems, investing in the supporting facilities infrastructure around power, cooling and racks is important too, both because of virtualisation and changes in equipment density, energy rating and increased resiliency requirements. Outdated infrastructure and data centre management techniques do not only lead to energy inefficiency or a lack of compute capacity, they also create a higher risk of failure and power-related outages.
Virtualisation is vital. Modern, virtualised IT systems enable organisations to pack more compute power, storage capacity and more into a much smaller footprint, while cloud-based architectures drive up resource utilisation. The investment needed to modernise is usually returned through the efficiencies, reliability and uptime of a modern system, compared to living with the costs and constraints of an older environment.
When considering power management in virtualised environments, the most important aspect is the ability of the UPS to integrate with the existing virtualisation platforms. If it can’t, then the UPS is just a dumb box with batteries.
In virtual environments, more services run on less hardware, which puts more focus on making sure that hardware – and the services that run on it – are always available. VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and other server virtualisation software vendors all enable “live migration” to transfer virtual machines from one host server to another for load balancing purposes or in case of maintenance or outages.
Of all the trends in data cenre power, virtualisation and efficiency are the most impactful in terms of increasing runtime and lowering total costs of ownership. Companies should view advanced power management systems as an essential component of any well-designed virtualisation environment, while seeking out the features that will reduce lifetime costs and enable the UPS to provide more value back to the business.