The provision of cost-effective uninterrupted power is one of the primary benefits of colocation. Though electrical power generation may seem like a mature technology, there is a surprising amount of change underway; particularly in our state.
Connecticut has a long history of electric power generation dating back to the years immediately following Thomas Edison’s pioneering innovations. Pictured above is the construction in 1889 of the first hydroelectric plant in New England on the Farmington River. This plant powered Hartford at the end of the century as it grew to become one of the leading cities in America.
Since those early days of waterpower, electricity in the Nutmeg State has been generated in many different ways. Coal, oil, natural gas, and even garbage have been incinerated to power the turbines that generate electricity. Nuclear Power played a significant role for several decades. Like coal and oil, the days of nuclear power in Connecticut are waning. The future will see more environmentally friendly energy sources like natural gas and renewables. For example, last year Connecticut selected Vineyard Winds to develop an offshore 804 MW wind power project that is scheduled to come online in 2025. Much of this innovation is an attempt to reduce cost while addressing environmental concerns.
Regardless of the energy source used to generate electricity, data centers are very dependent upon power. This is because IT systems require continuous sources of electricity to function properly. To assure high availability, colocation data centers typically provide primary and secondary power circuits backed up by redundant Uninterruptible Power Supplies and redundant generator systems. The cost of electrical power typically represents between 20% and 30% of colocation operating expenses.
Another changing condition is the trend toward higher power density requirements in data centers. Connecticut is home to universities, health care providers, research facilities and financial institutions that are pioneering the development of Artificial Intelligence applications. These processing intensive workloads require data centers that can support higher power densities.
As recently as 5 years ago the average power required for a data cabinet was about 5 KW. In 2019 the average had grown to 7.3 KW per rack and in 2020 it surged to 8.2 KW. Colocation facilities, such as CAPS, are designed to support the higher power densities required by Artificial Intelligence and other processing intensive applications.
It may not be practical or cost-effective to redesign corporate facilities to support these higher power densities. In addition to provisioning additional power and providing redundant power backup, data centers must also be able to handle the significant additional cooling requirements that higher power density racks require. Organizations facing increasing IT power density requirements should consider moving their systems to a colocation facility that is better suited to handle these demands.
CAPS provides a secure colocation facility with plenty of available power and including the redundant cooling systems required for today’s high power density requirements. We recognize the critical importance of power to our colocation clients and are extremely proud of the fact we have not had an unscheduled disruption of power to any of our clients in over 20 years.