Can your data center ride out repeated power outages?
The energy supply situation in Europe is tense. Reduced gas supplies from Russia and shutdowns of nuclear power plants are causing us headaches. The federal government is already warning of energy supply bottlenecks in the coming winter. Overall, energy consumption in Switzerland has declined, but not electricity consumption, which has risen by a whopping 8% since the turn of the millennium. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) explains the increase in electricity consumption with the positive economic development and the growth of the population. Furthermore, consumption increased during Corona: Due to home offices, the population has increasingly worked and cooked at home.
In view of the impending and, above all, real shortage of electricity in winter, the question arises as to how electricity can be further saved in Switzerland? – The answer comes from the federal government in three stages.
Three-step federal emergency response plan
- Step: Savings appeal to the population
A first step would be savings appeals by the Federal Council to the population. As past experience has shown, it is often not enough if not everyone is pulling in the same direction. In this case, the Federal Council wants to ban certain uses such as Jacuzzis, saunas, indoor swimming pools, ski lifts and snow cannons in winter, but also neon signs.
- Step: Large consumers must reduce
If step 1 is not sufficient, large consumers must reduce their consumption to 80%. Because we know that the large volume of electricity consumption is buried in the Swiss economy. This measure could prevent the final and third step from taking effect – grid disconnection.
- Step: network off at 4-8-4 or 4-4-4 hour intervals
What does it mean? All networks must be switched off periodically.
4-8-4: The grid will be shut down for four hours and provide power for eight hours.
4-4-4: The network is switched off and on again every four hours.
These are all plans and worst-case scenarios so far. Whether they occur depends on many other unpredictable factors.
So what does this have to do with your IT infrastructure now?
We currently have around 85 data centers in Switzerland, which account for almost 4% of Switzerland’s total electricity consumption!
(Source: Adrian Altenburger of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy)
By comparison, the city of Bern consumes just under half as much electricity. Thanks to the many data centers in Switzerland, it is possible to check e-mails via cell phone, briefly twin money or stream videos.
However, this exacerbates our problem situation, as new data centers are constantly being built and their maintenance consumes even more energy reserves due to the complex cooling system.
Yet data centers can be much more energy efficient – up to 45% is possible! Especially the smaller companies that operate their own data centers could make savings. Vor allem kleinere Unternehmen, die ihre eigenen Rechenzentren betreiben, könnten Einsparungen erzielen.
What if the power suddenly goes out?
You have to make sure that the network continues to work. This is not so easy, because UPS systems of SMEs usually bridge power failures only for minutes and not hours, as the 3rd step of the emergency plan from the federal government provides.
In the event of a power shortage, large data centers and cloud services would not be affected by rationing, according to the federal government. Internal server rooms of the SME, however, do. – Therefore, take precautions with us and migrate your IT infrastructure to the cloud or to the redIT data centers now. Wir beraten Sie gerne!