Data centers, which are very energy intensive, must now prepare for possible power outages in France. These digital infrastructures have come up with some strategies.
Recently, one of the OVH data centers in Strasbourg was hit hard by a power outage. Since then, MagIT has been interested in strategies to protect these infrastructures against load shedding. Among the crowd, Equinix was the only one who said yes. The company’s operations manager, Christian Balzer, gives some explanations: ” Everything starts with the supply.”
The double derivative
The process consists of lay two cables Connection of the data center to a source. The first is intended for normal operations, the second for potential crisis situations. And be Enedis who offers this alternative. EDF used to compensate for these situations, but this is no longer the case. The substation, located at the junction of the high-voltage and medium-voltage grids, is intended to ensure the voltage drops.
However, according to Balzer, data centers can no longer rely on the old Enedis offer. ” Enedis had to reconsider its offer due to the irrational increase in the demands of a certain number of data centers. So she stopped her dual setup. Because the construction of a substation takes at least five and at most ten years for those affected. »
Enedis gives peace of mind by offering the most vulnerable data centers a separate cable service. This solution allows operators to protect themselves from possible cable and delivery station problems.
Overcome power weaknesses in the data center
When supply is no longer an issue, data centers have to deal with failure probabilities. Supply disruptions are very rare in France, but data centers should still expect them.
“In the double bypass, a problem occurring on the main cable requires opening the circuit breaker on the Enedis side. Attachment to the lifeline must be done by hand. In fact, the circuit breakers for the two cables remain open for safety reasons. Manual processing takes time, so data centers have to find another solution. » says Balzer. He recalls that every data center has groups function diesel and inverter battery powered. These solutions can be mobilized until the normal operation of the generators.
Today Equinix uses a system of ” redundancy block » Combining a generator, an inverter and a transformer. Another alternative is to Distribute the data center in slices.
Even with foreclosure, there is always a risk that IS Architects then intervene. ” Our customers expect by distributing storage on our platforms. They take the time to evaluate the various proposals before making a choice. » says Balzer. Finally, he insists on the transparency of his company towards his customers. You will be informed as well as possible so as not to be surprised. Until now, Equinix France only counts two power outages a year.