Data Centers Rethinking Billing Structure

There is something for everybody on the Internet. The landscape on the Web is a diverse and complex place. For a data center this is reflected in usage. Niche sites may plateau anywhere from 500-3000 hits a day. But sites with accelerating popularity may generate a figure that is astounding. Example? 2010 startup Pinterest currently gets around 1.5 million users a day. That’s a lot of movement. For a data center that means a lot of energy.

Data centers are starting to rethink how they manage their billing structure. Most data centers do charge for things like storage and network bandwidth. However, the energy and heat produced by frequently engaged servers leads to a lot of extra costs for data center operators. Consider all of the extra power consumption. Cooling becomes more costly— not solely because of the energy cost, but also because of the ongoing maintenance needed for a constantly blowing HVAC.

Many businesses have usage-based billing structures that take in consideration the consumption of their company’s billable resources. The most obvious example is a phone company. Usage charges range from time-of-day based rates to minutes used. Many Internet providers are exploring a similar course, billing their customers if they exceed a defined limit of bandwidth.

For the data center there is a clear advantage to usage based billing. Offsetting the costs of busy servers has to come from somewhere. If 5% of a data center operator’s clients are responsible for 85% of energy usage, is it fair to pass the costs on to everyone? Raising prices on every client risks scaring away loyal customers and hurting the bottom line. The answer is to pass the costs to the clients responsible for the excessive energy.

How does a data center operator pinpoint which of the client’s servers are consuming the most power? Submetering. Intelligent power submetering is an effective way to measure where the costs are coming from. By providing an accurate picture of where the energy costs are coming from, a data center operator can confidently translate where the excessive energy is produced into hard figures. Over time, daily readings can give a good overall picture, thereby allowing a business to determine their billable resources. The result is a profitable billing structure that stabilizes the growing costs of a business’ energy.

For more information on how Uptime Devices’ Intelligent Power Meters can help your business implement a more profitable billing structure, please visit our site: , or