A new report concerning data centre outage figures have further underlined the need for facility stakeholders to eliminate performance uncertainty in all equipment, according to Alfa Laval.
The Uptime Institute’s annual 2022 Outage Analysis report noted that one in five organisations reported ‘serious’ or ‘severe’ outages, with the proportion of unplanned downtime costing over $100,000, rising to 60% from 39% in 2019. Prolonged downtime (lasting 24 hours or more) has similarly risen from 8% of all outages in 2017 to 30% now, sparking questions of how these upward trends can be curbed.
Faced with these worrying statistics, Gemma Reeves, Data Centre Specialist for Alfa Laval, is advising data specifiers not to de-prioritise aspects of a site’s infrastructure when looking for solutions, including cooling. Specifically, she is highlighting the role of certified and accredited equipment in safeguarding against downtime and allowing resources to be allocated to addressing power-related issues.
She says: “When it comes to data centres, any unplanned downtime can have large ramifications both financially and in terms of reputational damage. Yet with a sector where precision is not so much a preference as a prerequisite, all aspects of facility infrastructure must be addressed equally to ensure consistent operations, including the cooling plant.
“So, while power will undoubtedly be the main focus in the wake of this new outage report, this should not come at the cost of selection of high-performance cooling components, including heat exchangers. Equipment certified by third-party testing bodies such as the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), should be a key part of any multi-faceted strategy developed to reduce this growing number of serious outages.”
The AHRI’s Product Performance Certification Programme is a voluntary programme administered and governed by the institute to ensures various types of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and water heating products perform according to manufacturers’ published claims. Products tested and certified under the programme, including Alfa Laval’s gasketed, brazed and fusion-bonded plate heat exchangers, can provide much-needed assurance over performance that is critical in data centre environments.
“The ratings manufacturers claim can often widely vary from actual performance, which is undoubtedly a worry for owners, consultants and contractors,” Gemma concludes. “Though performance certifications such as the AHRI are voluntary, equipment designers and providers should actively seek out these accreditations. Insofar as liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers are concerned, having this level of surety provides crucial peace-of-mind that effective cooling can take place as per the design, and the possibility of outages reduced.”