Fuelling A Digital World – Telecoms & Data Centres
Here at Speedy Fuels, our fuel supply of red diesel and DERV doesn’t just reach out to the agricultural, construction, marine and horticultural industries. With the rise of the internet and the need for cloud services and hosting, added to the evolution of telecommunications with the likes of VoIP technology and cloud systems, we’ve witnessed a considerable increase in red diesel orders to commercial premises.
In this month’s blog post, we look at red diesel fuel and its importance in today’s digital world!
Why is red diesel important to data centres & telecoms facilities?
You may be wondering why highly-sophisticated data centres and telecoms facilities crammed full of high-spec hardware require red diesel fuel, which is predominantly used in farming and on construction sites to power diesel vehicles and machinery. It’s a strange thing to think about and we’ll cover that in a minute, but for some of our readers please allow me to briefly explain what a data centre is.
What is a data centre?
In order for the internet (or a network) to store the information that essentially makes it up, there has to be several servers which can store the data, process it and distribute it around the network. A typical data centre may contain 10 servers or thousands depending on their size or use. Data centres are classed into tiers in order of their capability and set up:
- Tier 1 – This is a basic data centre which has the minimal responsibility of uptime and promises 99.671% availability. It has non-redundant components which require downtime to the servers for maintenance.
- Tier 2 – This level of data centre meets or exceeds the requirements of a tier 1 data centre and offers an uptime of 99.741%. The redundant components used can be removed and maintained without the data centre going down.
- Tier 3 – A tier 3 data centre meets or exceeds the tier 2 versions and offers promises more uptime (99.982%). It consists of multiple distribution paths and equipment must be dual-powered.
- Tier 4 – This is the highest level of data centre and has the most stringent setup. It meets or exceeds tier 3 data centres and requires independently dual-powered equipment such as ventilation and cooling. It promises uptime of 99.995%.
The percentage of uptime promised is over a year which equates to 525,600 minutes. A tier 1 data centre would be allowed to be down for just over 26 hours which is only just more than a full day. A tier 4 data centre, on the other hand, would only be able to be down for just over 26 minutes. Visit this Wikipedia link for more information regarding the tiers.
Why does a data centre require back up power?
At some point in your life, you have probably experienced the annoyance of a power cut. For a normal home, the issues which become evident due to a power cut tend to be the lack of television, trying to find a torch so you can see where you’re walking and possible food waste from the fridge freezer.
When a data center has a power outage serious issues can arise which can bring businesses to a halt and even affect the workings of equipment and machines in hospitals.
One of the common forms of backup power is a diesel generator. Usually, a bank of batteries will be connected to the servers to help power them in the event of a power failure. There are normally two sets (just in case one of them fails) that will kick in instantly on the event of failure. Once the diesel generators start up the batteries will then transfer the workload to the generator until the power comes back on the servers.
As you read earlier, depending on the tier of the data centre, downtime may result in penalties and contract loss. But these are purely financially-related issues and the more severe effects of a data center losing power can be tragic if life is put at risk as a result.
The importance of a reliable red diesel fuel supply
In the event of an emergency situation, the last thing you’d want to hear from a red diesel supplier is ‘Sorry, we can’t get any fuel to you right now!’ This is not uncommon from some suppliers with limited availability and tankers.
In an emergency situation when every second counts it’s important that your supplier can get to you quickly with red diesel. Unlike Speedy Fuels, some companies cannot offer nationwide deliveries or emergency red diesel supplies and will try to pass on the supply to a 3rd party; which might not always take your account into priority or be able to help.
Data Centres & Telecommunications Fuel Services
You could say that emergency fuel deliveries and nationwide fuel deliveries are fuel services data centres rely on although other fuel services which data centres need are fuel management and fuel polishing.
Fuel Management For Data Centres
Managing the levels of backup fuel in a data centre is vital for ensuring maximum possible uptime. Imagine a power failure that causes the server room to call upon the generators to help keep things running and all of a sudden the generators run out of fuel. In a time sensitive environment, like a data centre, this is a problem that can be catastrophic and also avoidable.
Fuel management helps the data centre keep track of back up fuel levels. When the levels reach a certain point, the data centre can order a top-up of fuel to ensure that a run out doesn’t occur in a time of need. Small sensors attached to fuel tanks can alert your fuel management company for you so they can prepare a delivery for you.
Fuel Polishing For Data Centres
Fuel polishing ensures the fuel stored in a data centre is fit for purpose. If the backup fuel hasn’t been used in a while and the generators are needed in an emergency, the fuel may have degraded over time and cause serious problems to your backup generators.
Not only could this cause damage to your equipment but, the generators won’t be powering your data centre, which in turn may cost your business and those it serves a huge amount of money.
Fuel testing and analysis will first allow the polishing team to check the fuel for sludge, water and bacteria. If they find anything harmful in your fuel they can arrange to clean the fuel or remove it if it’s ruined.
By using fuel polishing equipment, they pump the contaminated fuel through the fuel polishing machine until it is cleaned. They’ll clean the tank to remove any sediment or left-over contaminants and fill it back up with either your polished fuel or new clean fuel if your old fuel is too badly damaged.
If you require red diesel deliveries to your data centre or would like to find out more information about our fuel services please call our specialists now on 0845 271 7007.