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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

What is our Colocation Power Usage Policy?

Power is one of the largest expenses in running a datacenter, and of course datacenter can easily make loss or close shop if improper manage of their power policy. Today, you can notice that almost every hosting provider in Malaysia are now implementing such  policy in controlling power usage for their colocation solutions (mainly also because datacenter in Malaysia have started to bill for additional power and limit the power allocation. Last time some just give no limit!).  

In fact, Power has become one of the key points in datacentre colocation, even more so than space. For colocation market, Power Usage Policy (PUP) is only applicable to Multiple Colocation solution, as Single Colocation solution is only giving one power point for one server. For colocation market, Power Usage Policy (PUP) is only applicable to Multiple Colocation solution, as Single Colocation solution is only giving one power point for one server. 

If you have gone through some web hosting provider for Multiple Colocation, and I guess you may seem some specification terms like 'Power Allocation' with 0.4kW for 10U Colocation or 0.7kW for 21U (Half Rack), or 0.7kW for 42U (Full Rack). Meaning to say, you are giving this such of power for your colocation every month, and you will be charge 'extra' if exceeded the limit. Currently, the market rate for power is between RM0.68 to RM0.75 per kWh (where this is very much depend on the datacenter building & infrastructure companies such as AIMS). From our survey, most of the colocation providers are putting this cost back-to-back to their clients). 

But honestly, how many of you really know how to count if exceeded the quota? Let me use one scenario to explain on this.   
"Our default power allocation for Full Rack colocation is 1.5kW (which is a standard practice in market). Assumethat you are estimating about 3kW monthly to support all your servers, then you need additional 1.5kW power with additional of RM0.68/kWh. So how much is 1.5kW? 
1.5kWx 24 hours x 30 days x RM 0.68/kWH = RM 734.40
In summary, we are concluded the power usage formula like this: 
<Total Usage in kW> x 24 hours x 30 days x <Cost of Power>

Like I mentioned earlier, most of the colocation providers will apply the same power cost that vendor charged them back to their colocation clients, so you can roughly know their cost to their vendor on power, as well as to predict their margin in market. 

Power Usage Policy (PUP) for Shared Rack Colocation: 
As we know, Power Usage Policy is only applied to Multiple Colocation solutions such as 10U (Quarter Rack), 21U (Half Rack), 42U (Full Rack) and etc. Most of the server racks in EVERWORKS are only installed with one power meter to measure its power usage for each different rack, as well as to configure with 1.5kW as our default power usage allocation. That's mean we will be allocating 0.04kW (1.5kW /  37U) for each colocation 'U'. As we know, one full rack has 42U of colocation space, then why we divide by 37U in this formula? This is because every shared rack that designed for Multiple Colocation will take up 4U space to install the tray. Hence, we can't bundle this 4U space into our client's bill.

Implementation of our Shared Power Usage Policy is just like how we managing our Shared Hosting servers, all available resources within the server and network will be shared among all existing web hosting clients. For this Shared Power Usage Policy, we are equally sharing the default of power allocation of 1.5kW. E.g. if you are subscribed to 10U Multiple Colocation, then you will get 0.40kW (10 x 0.04kW = 0.0394kW) of power allocation.

Your next question will be, how do we 'share' the additional charges if the rack has exceed the limit of 1.5kW? Just simple, we will share the exceeded power usage among the existing colocation clients under the rack with according to their occupancy space. E.g. assume that a rack has hit 2.0kW end of the month, that mean the total exceeded power usage is only 0.5kW (2.0kW - 1.5kW), or 0.013kw per U. If you are subscribed to 10U Multiple Colocation, then you will be responsible for 0.13kW, which is equal to RM63.70  (0.13kW x RM490).

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