Our data centre currently exceeds the EU Code of Conduct for data centres, which stipulates a comprehensive range of best practices for data centre operators and hosting providers.
These measures include power provision, cooling, good use of virtualisation, selection of efficient software, multiple tenders for selection of servers and much, much more.
The data centres we use are very efficient, for example using the latest cooling systems (a chilled water loop) so that as little energy as possible is wasted cooling the servers, and all the power provisioning systems (UPSes, power distribution etc) are very efficient.
The power usage of all racks is monitored and power distribution to them is actively managed, which maximises energy efficiency within the data centres by eliminating hot and cold spots.
Our servers are sourced based in part on their energy-efficiency. In the last three years the amount of electricity an average server uses has roughly halved, but the amount of work they can do has increased by two to four times. We believe in spending a little extra on hardware to get the latest in energy-efficient machines, and gain the cost-savings in the long term through reduced power bills. Out-dated hardware is replaced after three years, as Moore’s Law makes replacing them economically and environmentally sensible (see below).
Our servers are provided by the UK leader in commercial virtual machine / virtual private server technology. They make use of Xen – an open source virtual machine monitor developed by Cambridge University
Thirdly, we use a lot of virtualisation in the form of industry leading virtual servers. What this means is that rather than having one server (one box) doing one task we have lots of smaller virtual machines on one server each doing a task, so that we need many less machines overall.