Concerns over public cloud service resilience demonstrated in a recent report has further underlined the need for loadbank testing and analysis of utility provisions, according to Aggreko.
Findings from the Uptime Institute’s 2022 Outage Analysis highlighted that only 14% of data centre and IT managers think that public cloud services are capable enough to run their workloads without disruption. Alongside this, power outages accounted for 43% of outages classified as significant – causing downtime or financial loss – with the single biggest cause of these incidents being Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) failures.
Taking these insights into account, Billy Durie, Global Sector Head for Data Centres at Aggreko, is advocating the importance of a robust loadbank testing strategy to validate the operational importance and battery autonomy of UPS systems. He says: “The Uptime Institute’s annual outage report always makes for interesting reading, and 2022’s edition is no exception. Specifically, its findings that the sector is struggling to make headway in reducing outage rates and severity makes clear that a rethink is needed in testing facilities.
“Data centres are increasingly vital to modern life, so ensuring they remain online should be a key priority of all parties in the supply chain, from construction to continued operation,” Billy continues. “Yet, as this report shows, 80% of data centre managers and operators have experienced some sort of outage in the past three years – a marginal increase over the norm. Any such disruption is unacceptable in the provision of such a vital service, but the fact they have become more frequent and power outages remain a major factor demonstrates that more attention must be paid to testing and utility provision.”
Data centres are expected to maintain 99.999% uptime, meaning extremely small margins of error must be accounted for during the construction process and when a facility comes online. According to Billy, these stringent requirements, combined with the market’s continued growth, emphasise the importance of extensive loadbank testing and equipment availability early on if failures are to be avoided.
He concludes: “The data centre market continues to boom, but with increased usage comes growing risk of equipment failure, with the all the reputational and financial costs that may ensue for businesses. Consequently, it is crucial that suppliers can quickly provide loadbank testing units that to meet growing demand levels, especially in the wake of ever-tightening construction deadlines and ongoing disruption to supply chains due to geopolitical events.
“Doing so will not only reduce the number of incidents catalogued in the Uptime Institute’s report, it will also ensure that the industry’s existing and expanding infrastructure is placed under less strain. It is for this reason that we have continued to invest in a number of solutions, including resistive-only AC loadbanks, combined resistive and reactive loadbanks in single or multiple units, and DC loadbanks.”