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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
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    Power in Datacenters

    Hello,

    We currently have 1 Rack in LA and wanted to make some changes to power.

    We are looking in upgrading our power from 1 x 120V A+B to 1 x 208V A+B single phase and keeping 1 x 120V A up for console server access.

    The Datacenter wanted to increase our Base Rent for the Rack almost double per month and charge for the power in addition.

    Is this normal?

    Thanks

    Daniel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    If they have space issues or are near capacity, then it's absolutely normal. Between those three circuits, you'll be getting about twice as much power as you currently have. If they have limited space or power density, that means they can't sell that much floor space to someone else.
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  3. #3
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    120V is about 1.92 usable kW (at 20 Amps). If you added another 208V line, you're getting an additional 3.32kW (assuming both are 20Amp Drops). So 5.24 total usable power more than doubles your existing capacity. This would most likely be a significant increase in monthly recurring costs (especially in CA).

    Are you sure you need that much power?

  4. #4
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    Nov 2011
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    Yes, the increase is pretty much inline with what other providers are offering in LA. Power and cooling are a huge component of colocation costs, you cannot expect more power with additional charges.

  5. #5
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    you want to triple your power from your current allocation... that means high density in just a single rack, you will pay a premium for that.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyT View Post
    The Datacenter wanted to increase our Base Rent for the Rack almost double per month and charge for the power in addition.
    Yes it is normal. A rack rental cost (in fact, floor space rental cost, per sqft) is a direct factor of the amount of power used on it. Datacenters are designed for a certain maximum amount of Watts per square foot (due to HVAC cooling and generator capacity). If you start using more watts, you need to pay for more square feet; or in a single-rack scenario, more per rack (the base rack rental rate).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGotzmann View Post
    you want to triple your power from your current allocation... that means high density in just a single rack, you will pay a premium for that.
    I agree to expect the price increase (power + cooling are easily the biggest price component in colocation), but 5.2kw usable per cabinet isn't really "high density."
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  8. #8
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    more than 40A 120v equivalent per rack in most facilities will be considered high density... sure there are higher densities capable, but above 40a 120v equivalent is when you start being considered a higher density load.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGotzmann View Post
    more than 40A 120v equivalent per rack in most facilities will be considered high density... sure there are higher densities capable, but above 40a 120v equivalent is when you start being considered a higher density load.
    Our most common power config is 30A 208v (5kw) and I wouldn't really call that high density myself. I guess it is just different with different facilities, but these days I'd say ~7.5kw+ is high density.
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  10. #10
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    more than 40A 120v equivalent per rack in most facilities will be considered high density...
    That is around 20A 240V...not much.
    Most european colos do 2x16-20A 230V which is almost 80A 120v...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
    That is around 20A 240V...not much.
    Most european colos do 2x16-20A 230V which is almost 80A 120v...
    Can't European Colos can just open the doors to cool the place, especially at the moment. Saves 1/2 the power. Not as easy in LA.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by david_halliday View Post
    Can't European Colos can just open the doors to cool the place, especially at the moment. Saves 1/2 the power. Not as easy in LA.
    Fresh air cooling is actually getting common in normal dc's over the evening periods etc.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2011
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    The Datacenter wanted to increase our Base Rent for the Rack almost double per month and charge for the power in addition.

    Is this normal?
    It is just normal, additional charges especially on that matter is just normal!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by david_halliday View Post
    Can't European Colos can just open the doors to cool the place, especially at the moment. Saves 1/2 the power. Not as easy in LA.
    In Europe 2x 16 or 20A 230V its normal thing...

  15. #15
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    You could always change over to the 1 x 208V A+B and then use a Transformer to step down the 208V to 120V. This would save you the monthly cost of keeping the 1 x 120V A just for console server access or what ever else still needs 120V only.

    The APC9626 comes to mind... It costs around $500 and it's good for up to 500VA. Most likely more watts then you'll need but if you look around there are always smaller units to be found.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by asturmas View Post
    In Europe 2x 16 or 20A 230V its normal thing...
    In Europe it's also normal to charge for actual use for power rather than circuit size. You'll be hard pressed to get a circuit smaller than 16a 230v in the UK for example, but getting a single PDU with enough outlets to use up that 16a (or even 80% actual) is a challenge, so it's quite common to get 2x 16a circuits even if you're using 8a or less on each. In the US, generally you're charged a flat rate for a circuit no matter how much of it you use. So it's really not apples to apples there.
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  17. #17
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    I understand that there will be an increase in power cost.That was outlined in the MSA. But I don't understand why if we need more power they would almost double the rent for the Rack space?

    Atlas Global yes that is what I am looking into right now.


    So what I am reading so far is that this is normal practice?

    Thanks

    Daniel

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyT View Post
    I understand that there will be an increase in power cost.That was outlined in the MSA. But I don't understand why if we need more power they would almost double the rent for the Rack space?

    Atlas Global yes that is what I am looking into right now.


    So what I am reading so far is that this is normal practice?

    Thanks

    Daniel
    Read my post again.
    More power = you need more space (or to pay for more space if you are using the same space).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    Our most common power config is 30A 208v (5kw) and I wouldn't really call that high density myself. I guess it is just different with different facilities, but these days I'd say ~7.5kw+ is high density.
    I would agree with this.

    Now i will say as an example some facilities may charge $200/mo for an APC ARU to help evacuate heat directly out of the rack and into the return plenum instead of blowing out into the hot aisle. These are good for up to around 15kw.
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  20. #20
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    They probably have a space to power limit. As you are having to pay for the extra space anyway you could probably get them to actually assign an extra adjoining cabinet to you and you may be able to use it to store spares etc. (depending on policy)

  21. #21
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    or just sell some atom servers in it, they use next to no power.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyT View Post
    I understand that there will be an increase in power cost.That was outlined in the MSA. But I don't understand why if we need more power they would almost double the rent for the Rack space.
    Their rent isn't based on the amount of space they have available, its about how much of the conditioned power allocated to the space you want to consume. This doesn't include the cost of the electricity or cooling, this is just the cost of the rent.

    For the sake of discussion, assume that there is 100KW of conditioned power available to 25 racks of space. The average is about 4KW per rack, or roughly 2 20A/120V circuits per cabinet.

    Now, the customer wants to change from that configuration to 1 20A/208V circuit (3.3KW) and 1 20A/120V circuit (1.9KW). That comes to 5.2KW, 1.2KW higher than what is usually allocated.

    The Data Center/Colo operator by giving you that circuit configuration, without raising your rent, now does not have 1.2KW of power available to sell to another party, thus bringing his available inventory down from 25 racks to 24.

    We don't buy/build space based on size anymore, its all about how much conditioned power we have to allocat. Any operator that goes about filling the space without doing so is overselling their electrical configuration, and in the end that can cause a catastrophic end to their business.
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  23. #23
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    Mar 2009
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    Thank you everybody for the replies.
    Guess what surprised us was that there is no mentioning in the MSA of an increase of Rack space rent to power.

    Lesson learned. Next DC we will ask

    Have a good day everyone!

    Daniel

  24. #24
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    I love facilities that sell by the kW, don't care about space..
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybirdsmith View Post
    Their rent isn't based on the amount of space they have available, its about how much of the conditioned power allocated to the space you want to consume. This doesn't include the cost of the electricity or cooling, this is just the cost of the rent.

    For the sake of discussion, assume that there is 100KW of conditioned power available to 25 racks of space. The average is about 4KW per rack, or roughly 2 20A/120V circuits per cabinet.

    Now, the customer wants to change from that configuration to 1 20A/208V circuit (3.3KW) and 1 20A/120V circuit (1.9KW). That comes to 5.2KW, 1.2KW higher than what is usually allocated.

    The Data Center/Colo operator by giving you that circuit configuration, without raising your rent, now does not have 1.2KW of power available to sell to another party, thus bringing his available inventory down from 25 racks to 24.

    We don't buy/build space based on size anymore, its all about how much conditioned power we have to allocat. Any operator that goes about filling the space without doing so is overselling their electrical configuration, and in the end that can cause a catastrophic end to their business.
    That is all certainly correct, but is then why colo providers should bill in the same way. We've been doing it for awhile now, where space is basically free, it is almost all power. I feel this makes it all cleaner and easier for the customer since adding more power just adds to one line item, an additional circuit, nothing additional for space.

    Now, this does result in some people thinking our power is expensive, as all the cost is built into that, but we can explain that. I just think it is the fairest way to do it.
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