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Wednesday
Apr082009

COLOCATION AND POWER

I have been consulting organizations on co-location for almost 9 years now. Mostly in North America and primarily in the U.S. market. With Global Colo Quote, we currently have (17) datacenters and I have consulted and placed clients in all of them. Typically early on in the discussions, the topic of power comes up and it is always a challenge for clients to calculate their power requirements based on the type and size of equipment they are going to be utilizing. Obviously, if a client is bringing hardware in from another facility they can measure their draw in the existing cabinet. But what about the ones ordering new equipment for the first time or coming into co-location from a managed hosting environment? The two most common requests for power is 110v and 208v. There's a big difference in the two and not understanding the difference can be the difference of a few to several thousand dollars per month. Think of it this way- 110v is single-phase power and 208v is two-phase power. For example, a 20amp circuit at 110v is 20amps. A 20amp circuit at 208v is 40amps. At $25/amp for a circuit you could be paying $1,000 a month for one power circuit to power your blades, SAN, etc. As far as servers go, a standard 1U server averages around 2 amps per machine. If we are talking about a 1U server with a single processor pushing less than 1Mbps of bandwidth. The power requirements will go up with machines with more than one processor or pushing more than 1Mbps of bandwidth. Most servers require 110v of power, however the newer blade-type servers will require 220v of power.Most datacenters in the U.S. provide 20 amps of 110v power in each 42U Full Cabinet. Most new clients do not realize that if you are provided a 20 amp circuit in your cabinet you only have 18 amps usable power. Standard U.S. electrical codes restrict breakers to accept more than 20 amps and will typically trip when enough heat is generated on the breaker and that usually happens between 18-20 amps. I always recommend to clients that have mission critical requirements and are pushing near 18 amps to utilize an additional 20 amp circuit in their cabinet. With dual-power supplied servers today, it is also a great fit to have redundant power for the entire cabinet so if you do loose a power supply or trip your breaker you will still have power but unless you shut a machine or two down you are likely to have the same problem with the second 20 amp circuit. This type of configuration is referred to as "A" and "B" power whearas "A" is the primary feed and "B" is a secondary feed coming from a separate UPS for redundancy. I always recommend using a power monitoring PDU ( power distribution unit) to monitor power usage and allow the flexibility to remotley shut down devices as needed. For more information about power usage or questions about co-location or hosting, please contact me at woody@globalcoloquote.com or 917-710-5226.

COLOCATION OPTIONS


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MANAGED HOSTING


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