It's one thing to use renewable power (which we do) but it's even more important is to use less power.
PuE is a ratio that describes how efficiently a data center uses energy; specifically, how much energy is used by the computing equipment, in contrast to cooling and other overhead that supports that equipment. At one time it was thought that Google's PuE of 1.21 was as close to perfect as possible. But with advancements in energy-efficient cooling technology and through robust data center design, our latest hosting facility in East London is in a world-leading class of its own with a Power usage Efficiency (PuE) of 1.05.
While the average datacenter today consumes half as much power to keep servers cool and the lights on, in East London we consume just 5% more power to accomplish the same thing. There's a lot that goes into good data center design to make this possible.
It starts with using the latest hyper-efficient technology available, such as EcoCooling's CloudCooler units, which combine free air cooling with evapourative cooling. On cold days, we can simply use the outside air to chill the servers. On hot days (yes even those 40C+ days) we pass the warm outside air over water-saturated pads, chilling it in the process. This is infinitely more environmentally friendly than traditional air-conditioning chillers, with no nasty refrigerants needed, whilst still being 100% ASHRAE 9.9 compliant (read: mission critical reliability). The water used to chill the air is almost entirely recycled requiring only very occasional top ups, so zero concerns when it comes to being conscious about water scarcity.
Within the data halls, cold-aisle containment is used, with Ziehl Abegg high-efficiency fans channelling the cool air directly into contained aisles for the servers to draw in and expell hot air from the other side. This compares to a data center which has no containment (i.e. a constant battle to re-chill hot air) or hot-aisle containment, which although more energy-efficient than no containment at all, means that a much larger volume of air has to be chilled.
Energy efficiency aside, the entire windowless facility has industry-leading physical security, with 2.4m high razor wire perimeter fences, door access control, motion detection, 24/7 CCTV and on-site human presence.
The motion detectors fitted throughout are not only there for security, but in another nod to energy-efficiency, also mean that the lights only need to be on if someone is actually in the room.
Everything is entirely redundant, with diverse mains power feeds, diverse fibre networking supplies, N+1 diverse uniterruptible power systems and diesel generators with 8 hour day tanks, 48 hour on-site additional supply and a 24x7 continuous fuel arrangement.
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