How Enseva Makes Colocation Better! – Part III

By Chris SeveyBlog

In our last series of posts, I discussed how we leverage a unique electrical distribution system that allows Enseva datacenters to securely, reliably and rapidly deploy electrical infrastructure for our customers. The electrical system clearly provides benefits to a datacenter facilities ability to quickly deliver new service to customers, especially in times of disaster recovery. There’s a lot more to Enseva’s electrical system than quickly deploying infrastructure. Precision monitoring capabilities are a key benefit that provide a unified electrical platform that allows customers of all sizes to consume datacenter resource similar to how cloud resources can be consumed.

Little Guy vs 200lb Gorilla
A lot of multitenant datacenter facilities leverage a flat rate monthly fee model when delivering power to their customers. Consumers pay the same fee each and every month no matter how much power is consumed over the course of that month. This power gets delivered over various sized breakers of which a combination of amperes and voltages are used to determine the monthly fees. If you’re using 80% of the capacity delivered to your cabinet, your cost for that electrical usage will be your monthly contracted rate. If you’re leveraging only 20% of the capacity, you’re monthly cost remains the same. The downside to this model is inherently always visible to the consumer.

Organizations with a larger datacenter footprint may in some situations be able to take advantage of a utility based billing model, which provides that particular consumer with a distinct advantage over the flat rate model previously discussed. In the utility model, the consumer is billed for the electricity that’s being consumed as opposed to the capacity that’s available to them. Unfortunately, in most cases that I’ve encountered, these measurements gathered for consumer billing are point-in-time measurements used to estimate the consumers usage. I’ll assemble another article in the near future that dives deeper into the different methods I’ve seen colocation facilities use to calculate utility billing. At the end of the day, these larger consumers are still saving money by taking advantage of a utility billing model, even if the usage is estimated.

Utility Billing for Everyone
Going back to my previous comments in earlier posts about modeling colocation services into a service that can be consumed on-demand, similar to that of a cloud service, utility billing was a feature set that needed to be deeply integrated into the Next-Generation datacenter model. Every single colocation consumer should have the ability to take advantage of a utility billing model regardless if they’re doing disaster recovery in a half cabinet, or using hundreds of cabinets for production infrastructure.

The modular scalable breaker system Enseva’s Next-Generation facilities are leveraging today include the built in monitoring functionality necessary to deliver a utility model to organizations of every size. The technology makes Enseva one of the elite few colocation providers capable of metering every branch electrical circuit deployed throughout the facility in real time. This provides a strategic advantage for any organization looking to colocate IT infrastructure.

Service Outages
The technology provides benefits far beyond allowing colocation customer to take advantage of a utility billing model. The real time monitoring and alerting capabilities it introduces help to protect customers from potential outage events as well. Datacenter facilities that don’t have branch circuit monitoring capabilities essentially rely on the end user to report electrical delivery problems. A breaker tripping due to an amperage draw overload resulting in 30 servers going down isn’t a very effective method in determining that it’s time to upgrade electrical circuits.

Enseva’s alerting system will proactively notify staff members of potential electrical problems within the customer’s cabinet as they emerge. This information is leveraged to work with customers on corrective actions prior to an outage event taking place. This data also allows Enseva staff to work with tenants on phase balance and failover capacity to ensure that the most capacity gets leveraged out of each electrical circuit while ensure systems stay online should an electrical service be disrupted in 2(N+1) environments.

Historic electrical trending allows Enseva Next-Generation facilities to predict and deploy just-in-time capacity based on customer growth trends as well. The historic data gets used when working with customers on future growth strategies within the facility and consistently verifies customers are delivered reliable conditioned power 24/365 to each and every device.

For my final installment in this series, I’ll spend time talking about some of the security considerations when evaluating datacenter facilities. This will include not only physical door security systems, but other forms up protection as well, including cooling infrastructure, generation, natural disasters and other forms of security.