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Let's Talk VIDEO: Data Centre Generators

When a company entrusts their IT to a data centre, either through colocation or other services, they’re relying on that data centre for resilient infrastructure that will keep their IT up and running no matter what.  So how does a data centre protect your IT systems from power failures? The answer:  With backup generators.

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How do backup generators protect a data centre from power failures?

In the event of a mains power failure, a data centre’s backup generators will automatically switch on after about 10 seconds. These diesel generators will be able to power the data centre, keeping all of their customers’ servers online.

Data centre generators will also be designed with resilience in mind, to maximise the protection they provide to the data centre. The amount of resiliency built into generators (and other data centre infrastructure) is expressed in terms of N, where N is what’s required to keep the data centre running.

For example, 4D’s generators are equipped with N+1 resiliency, meaning each generator can provide enough power to totally power the data centre, and has at least one additional backup component.

Resilient generators mean that data centres are not reliant on a mains power supply, and their services won’t be affected by a power failure.

What about an extended power outage?

Data centres should have a significant amount of fuel stored on site to ensure they can run their generators for a long time. And since these generators can be refuelled, as long as the data centre has a reliable fuel delivery setup, then they can run these generators indefinitely and keep the data centre powered and online no matter how long main power is down for.

At 4D we keep 36 hours’ worth of diesel on site to run our generators, and have established contracts with a diesel supplier for emergency deliveries to make sure our generators never run out of fuel.

Why you should care about your data centre’s generators

Your IT systems going down is the simplest way to completely halt productivity in your business and frustrate customers when they can no longer access the digital services they need. It’s essential that you can rely on your data centre partner to protect you against downtime for any reason, including power outages. When you’re comparing data centres, ask about their generators and find out:

  • How resilient they are in terms of N
  • How much fuel is kept onsite
  • If they have a way to get more fuel in case of an extended power failure

If you’re interested in working with a data centre who has resilient backup generators, and has never had a power outage, even in the case of a mains power failure, then you can check out our services, or talk to one of our experts.

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