Conditioned Data Center Power as a Service?

European company to provide UPS power to data centers as a service, charging based on amount of kWh used

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

June 24, 2016

1 Min Read
iliad electrical
UPS and transfer switches serving one of the big data halls at Iliad's DC3 outside of ParisYevgeniy Sverdlik

One of the oldest arguments for moving enterprise applications to the cloud sounds like something an accountant would like: Cloud services, paid for on a monthly basis, are an operational expense, which is better than the capital expense of building or expanding a data center – a big, expensive, and depreciating real estate asset.

The other big argument is cloud services let you pay only for what you use, which is better than investing in a data center whose capacity will probably be underutilized for the bulk of its useful life.

But what if you can have both of those benefits in your own data center? A new partnership between data center UPS maker Active Power and a Geneva-based company Burland Energy was formed to do just that, but only for UPS systems.

Put simply, Burland will buy a flywheel-based UPS system from Active Power and have Active Power install and manage it in your data center, while charging you a flat per-kWh rate based on the amount of conditioned electricity that UPS system is feeding to your data center floor. The companies call it UPS-as-a-Service, or UPSaaS, imitating the cloud industry’s X-as-a-Service nomenclature.

The model, they say, will enable customers to utilize capital more effectively and reduce operating costs associated with electrical infrastructure in their data centers. “UPSaaS challenges the conventional approach to purchasing critical backup power equipment by offering conditioned power to customers based on a fixed rate per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity conditioned by the UPS,” the partners said in a statement.

See also: Modular Cooling System Enables On-Demand Data Center Capacity

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