Teraco Data Environments customers can look forward to business as usual, despite approaching electricity price increases, as a result of the energy efficiencies the company is achieving in its data centres.

“Companies have been hard hit by the latest electricity increases, the impact of which will only worsen,” says Lex van Wyk, MD of Teraco. “We’re taking every step in managing our facilities better so that our clients are not affected as seriously as they could be. It’s quite a tightrope act to balance power and cooling, maximising performance versus lowering costs. Through careful engineering, we’re trying to do both.”

Building and operating its data centres according to international best practice, Teraco has achieved a competitive power use effectiveness (PUE) rating at its JB1, Isando facility.

PUE, developed by The Green Grid, is one guideline to determine the energy efficiency in a data centre. However, green claims should be carefully inspected to understand what they represent, Teraco warns. Calculating PUE is complex, and simple misinterpretations can skew the results. The capex cost to pursue a low PUE can also erode any financial gains from reduced energy requirements.

The savings that can be realised through greater power efficiency versus the capital invested to achieve these gains needs to make sense.

Teraco applies a conservative view on capex spending to remain competitive. Besides building data centres, operators have to manage facilities for the best possible efficiency. Teraco applies fundamental principles to cover the essentials such as power and cooling, easily and effectively achieving acceptable PUE. This includes employing a balancing principal to manage cooling in its data centers. Examples of this include not just using energy efficient cooling units, but also managing the fit-out of racks on a build-as-you-grow basis.
A fully populated data centre is more power efficient than a facility with lots of empty space. In addition, Teraco employs many green alternatives such as switching off the condensers and using ‘free’ cool air from outside its facilities when the temperature drops below 21 degrees Celsius.

“Cooling and power are the most important aspects in Teraco’s business to ensure we stay price competitive and manage our facilities in a way that keeps us economical. As such, we’ve incorporated these aspects into the heart of our business model, rather than trying to chase efficiencies after the fact,” says van Wyk. “Our clients can rest assured that we’re fully prepared to weather the energy challenges ahead.”