The London Olympics is fast approaching, and the city is already starting to show signs of strain where power is concerned. Much of London has already been subject to power shortages as a result of the Olympic build-up, and energy costs inside the M25 are now up to 30 percent higher than the rest of the country.
Naturally, many large, London-based data centre providers have expressed their concern about the rising costs associated with running a data centre in the city. Perhaps more worrying is the potential for short-term power outages during the Olympics, as any down-time could be extremely damaging to a provider’s reputation and could even jeopardise the accessibility of their clients’ data.
An additional concern for businesses who use data centres located in the Capital, is the inevitable issue of physical access: with huge crowds descending upon central London and surrounding areas, traffic and public transport are due to be at an all time high. At peak times, these crowds could seriously restrict access to data centres, especially those located close to the Olympic Village. A lack of physical access could also present big problems if engineers are unable to reach data centres when they’re in need of maintenance or repair.
As a solution to these potential problems, some providers are offering short-term service contracts for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics, allowing businesses to temporarily colocate their data in centres outside the capital. While this solution may not suit every business, it will undoubtedly appeal to those who require regular access to their data during the games.
Out of town data facilities are becoming much more common as a whole, and the Olympics could encourage many businesses to reconsider their London-based service provider, in favour of an out of town location. Aside from avoiding the Olympic disruptions, there are many benefits of using a data centre outside of London:
Many outside the capital data centres are new and purpose built, meaning better facilities, newer technology and better energy efficiency
The cost of property and power is significantly less, resulting in savings for the client
The risk of terrorist threats is significantly less, when compared to central London
In addition to the potential power outages, costs and access restrictions, there is a real concern about the lack of bandwidth available, and whether there will be enough to handle the huge influx of people that will be descending upon London during the course of the Olympics. While most big service providers will have the ability to overcome bandwidth issues, the rest of London can expect a degree of slow service during the event.
As the Olympics draw ever closer, the associated problems are sure to escalate, and while it’s impossible to predict the exact levels of disruption the games will cause, it would appear that there’s never been a better time for businesses to relocate their data outside the Capital.