Intelligent Data Centres Issue 43 - Page 60

Paul Brickman , Commercial Director for Crestchic Loadbanks , a leading manufacturer of state-of-theart loadbank technologies , questions whether loadbank testing is necessary for containerised data centres .
ith an ever-expanding remit of applications ,

W containerised , or mobile , data centres are rapidly becoming the go-to solution for meeting today ’ s dynamic , high-volume data processing and communication demands . But is the temporary nature of these transportable data centres leaving them susceptible to poor maintenance practices and potential power failure ?

Typically housed within shipping containers , containerised data centres can be deployed easily , powered up quickly and scaled without delay in line with changing requirements . For the data centre sector itself , containerised solutions are widely used to accommodate surplus demand for data centres that need to grow but cannot yet do so , and often deliver continuity of performance when a primary data centre needs critical maintenance or refurbishment .
In other sectors , they are equally as important . They provide ‘ pop up ’ IT and communication services for music festivals and sporting events , support office relocations and major construction sites and are a staple resource for the military , as well as complex industries such as offshore oil and gas , where data and communications demands are often remote and temporary .
Temporary by name , essential by nature
The temporary nature of these data centres often results in them being commoditised and overlooked when it comes to the maintenance procedures and performance best practice that would be considered essential for a bricks-andmortar data centre .
But when in operation , these mobile data centres are just as much a necessity as their permanent counterparts , safe-housing the same valuable data and preventing the same financially catastrophic losses engineers so dread when maintaining their primary data centres .
It is important to remember that a data centre is a data centre , whether that is a purpose-built hyperscale campus , a colo or a temporary solution in a shipping container , and that means the same risks apply and the same preventative measures are required .
No matter the type of data centre being used , the primary cause of unplanned downtime is power failure , something that the Uptime Institute calls ‘ common , costly and preventable ’. In fact , in its most recent Risk and Resilience Report , the Uptime Institute calculated that power failure accounts for around 36 % of all outages .
It is essential , therefore , that backup generators for containerised data centres are regularly tested , the same as permanent data centre facilities .
Critical applications require guaranteed resilience
Music festivals and sporting events aside , the vast majority of containerised data centre applications are critical . Military communications , major construction sites , data centre refurbishments and a temporary expansion of primary data centre capacity may all have a clear expiration date , but the situation is

Is loadbank testing necessary for containerised data centres ?

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