April 1st 2022 is the day when most, if not all the UK energy suppliers will increase their energy prices by around 54%. This is a massive hike and is likely to get even worse come October when the wholesale rates are re-assessed once more.
Unfortunately this has a knock on effect to any service that relies heavily on electricity such as web hosting. Why? We run our servers (computers) and networking components from a data centre in the south of England. This is commonly known as a DC.
Each piece of hardware is drawing current and cannot function without it, not even for a second. Unlike a cooker, fridge or electric kettle which although might be plugged in and ready to go at a moments notice, doesn’t always need power. Even your fridge wouldn’t crash if you turned off the power for a few minutes.
As technology changes, the computer hardware becomes more efficient, and we’ve seen amazing advancements in processing power per watt over the years, but this still doesn’t mean we can allow these computers to take a break. If they take a break, the internet dies somewhere, emails aren’t delivered, websites go dark, telephony stops working and we lose the ability to purchase online and in store. Now more than ever before we are so reliant on electricity for what we might class as essential services.
Advances in renewables such as solar and wind are getting better every few months and many DCs now supplement their power with these sources, but the energy requirements for DCs are huge.