[quote]That will focus a few minds on unused servers and persudade the vendors that there is a market for lower power consumption systems. Telehouse charge a fixed rental rate for a rack irrespective of power consumption.[/quote]
Not strictly true, they do have house rules, 1 of those rules is that each rack has 8 amps, go over 8 amps and you'll be fined,
just because there are 42Us in a rack it doesn't mean that you can put 42 servers in that rack. (and have them all on).
Of course they don't have limits on how much heat you can generate.
A quick walk about looking at the air conditioning in red bus will show that the temperature hovers around 20 degrees, but frequently goes a little above that anyway.
further to that you'd have thought that the biggest source of power concern would not be what they can get pumped in from the grid supply but rather what their backup generators can supply. I would reasonably assume that this would be a lot less.
virtualising machines, yes can save a lot. and this is surely the way to go, but this isn't for a data centre to push onto their customer.
Telecity rent space, power and cold air to whoever wants to buy it.
Assume you rent a cage containing some 20 or so racks there, and a few racks scattered around the floor where you've had to move servers out of our main cage due to not having enough power in the cage. (i.e your machines could fit into 20 racks, but their isn't enough current supplied so you have to rent further racks just to get power, even though you don't physically need the space).
Now here's the rub. it's not redbus's job to tell you to virtualise your servers, in fact it's none of their concern what's on your servers, how old they are, how well utilised they are or anything. all they do is rent space power and cold air, and whilst you pay, I'm sure that they are more than happy for you to use whatever servers you like, because they get paid, they are happy.
now assume you are hosting equipment on behalf of customers, so you're not going to absorb the cost of needing extra space/power either, you pass that cost directly on to your customers for hosting and supporting the hardware that they buy.
And the customers, (usually small customers), don't even know that their machines are under utilised, could be virtualised, and even if they are told that they are going to wait till their next upgrade cycle anyway... and even if they are told, completely rebuilding their entire environment would be a long and costly project. for a return that would be small year on year.
If the problem is five years away then you are screwed anyway, as any systems going in today aren't going to be taking account of they need power that might not be available in five years, and anything already in has a few more years service before it's going to be replaced anyway.
thus as the article suggest, when red bus hit the wall and inevitably have to put up their price because their demand for power is greater than they can supply, you will just say OK and re-locate anyway. that's assuming that you can relocate. and are not too heavily invested their to make re-locating your co-location impossible.
but really I think that the real issue is being missed.
it's building design that needs to be addressed.
Red Bus is a big glass box . you don't need to spend too much time out in your greenhouse, (a small glass box) to know that temperatures will rise.
compare that the the queens building at DeMontfort university in Leicester (the engineering building).
the building is designed with tall chimney like structures that work on the same principal as termite mounds the work quite naturally helping to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter.
Also, even a primary school student could tell you that heat rises and building a heat generating building five storeys high might cause a lot of heat dissipation problems. why aren't these data centres built in more rural areas where they would be able to expand outwards rather than upwards, adding to the amount of heat the could be naturally dissipated away simply by the building having a larger surface area?