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September 12, 2016

Electricity: The Life-Blood of the Data Center

Data centers would not be able to function without a power source - electricity is the life-blood of the data center. After all, a server would be a box of metal if it were not powered.

Electricity is measured in amps, volts, ohms and watts. 

• Amps are defined as the actual electrical current that travels through the power lines.
• Volts are described as the “pressure” pushing amps through the power lines.
• Ohms are defined as the resistance that slows down the electrical current, causing an obstruction.
• Watts are the actual electrical power that is being used by a device such as a server or computer system. Watts are often measured in kilowatt (KW). However, the data center power is measured in megawatts (MW), due to the large amount of power being consumed.

But electricity doesn’t just power servers. It also powers air handlers, cooling, heating, lighting, generators, fire suppression systems and alarm systems. How much power a data center consumes depends on the size of the data center, the number of servers, air control strategies and how many other devices are hooked up.

A data center can continue operating during a power outage to prevent the loss of crucial data. Uninterruptible power supplies have a power inverter to convert stored DC power to AC current so the data center can keep functioning. Most of the appliances in the data center, including cooling equipment or air conditioners can be put into a power conservation mode. Using less power from these appliances allows the data center to preserve power for as long as possible.

At QTS each of our data centers is outfitted with an array of backup generators to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the data center itself. We have secured priority fuel contracts with fuel companies across the country to keep our generators topped off. During Superstorm Sandy, which ravaged the northeast in 2012, we were even able to supply our competitors with fuel, thanks to the contracts we had in place.

QTS is an industry-leading provider of data center solutions, with a commitment to be an energy efficient frontrunner in the industry. To learn more about QTS, visit our website or call us toll-free at 877.QTS.DATA.