The UK, like the rest of the world, is grappling with soaring energy costs. With the global energy crisis showing no signs of slowing, businesses of all shapes and sizes are feeling the pinch. The cost of electricity, gas, and other utilities are skyrocketing, making it increasingly expensive to run on-premises data centres and IT infrastructure. The situation is unlikely to improve soon, and this is forcing businesses to rethink their operational strategies.
What is the True Cost of Running Equipment On-site?
When it comes to running your own data centre, the costs go far beyond the initial investment in hardware. Here’s a breakdown of what you’re really paying for:
- Tin (Hardware): Servers, storage, and networking equipment can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
- Racking: Properly housing your hardware requires racks, which not only cost money but also take up space.
- Air Conditioning: Data centres generate a lot of heat, requiring robust air conditioning systems to keep things cool. This is now a significant energy cost!
- Power: The electricity costs for running servers 24/7 can be astronomical, especially with rising energy prices.
- Maintenance: Regular updates, security patches, and hardware replacements add to the ongoing costs.
How high could your costs be right now?
The actual cost of running a data centre can vary widely depending on several factors such as your location, your actual energy prices, and the efficiency of the equipment used. The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is a commonly used metric to measure data centre energy efficiency, it considers both the power used by the IT equipment and the cooling systems. A PUE of 2.0, for example, would mean that for every watt of electricity used by the IT equipment, another watt is used for cooling and other overhead.
Here’s a rough idea of what a small, medium, and large data centre could typically cost to run per month:
|# of servers
|Cost (@ £0.15 per kWh)
|£1,080 to £2,160
|£10,800 to £21,600
|1 -2 MWh
|£108,000 to £216,000
How Does Moving to the Cloud Help?
Switching to cloud services can alleviate many of these costs and concerns:
- Reduced Energy Consumption: Cloud providers like Quadris Cloud utilise economies of scale to run their data centres more efficiently than most businesses can achieve on their own. This not only saves money, but is much kinder to the environment!
- Lower Capital Expenditure: No need to invest in expensive hardware and the associated costs like air conditioning and racking.
- Scalability: Easily scale your services up or down based on your needs, without having to invest in new hardware.
- Security and Compliance: Cloud providers invest heavily in security measures, often providing a more secure environment than on-premises solutions.
- Business Continuity: With data backed up in the cloud, you’re better prepared for unexpected events like power outages or natural disasters.
Where Should You Start?
- Assessment: Evaluate your current IT infrastructure and identify which services could be moved to the cloud.
- Cost Analysis: Compare the costs of running these services on-site versus in the cloud.
- Choose a Cloud Provider: Look for a provider that meets your needs in terms of scalability, security, and cost-effectiveness.
- Migration Plan: Develop a detailed migration plan, possibly with the help of experts, to ensure a smooth transition.
How Can You Measure the Impact?
- Cost Savings: Track your utility bills and maintenance costs before and after the migration.
- Performance Metrics: Monitor the performance of your services to ensure they meet or exceed on-premises capabilities.
- Employee Productivity: Assess whether the move to the cloud has made it easier for staff to access and use the services they need.
- Environmental Impact: Calculate the reduction in your carbon footprint due to lower energy consumption.
With energy prices soaring and no relief in sight, moving to the cloud is an increasingly attractive option for UK businesses. Not only can it significantly reduce your operational costs, but it also offers benefits in terms of scalability, security, and business continuity.
Are you ready to make the move?