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Volta Data Centres debuts power failure reimbursement scheme for customers

Datacentre service provider follows up pay-by-the hour pricing scheme with promise to refund customers if any racks housed in its facility lose power

Co-location provider Volta Data Centres has introduced a service-level agreement (SLA) that will see customers reimbursed if ever the racks housed in its facilities lose power.

The company’s Platinum Power SLA will see affected customers receive a full-year of free service credit if the power being supplied to their racks falters even for a fraction of a second, the company claimed.

Speaking to Computer Weekly at the DatacenterDynamics Converged conference in London, Volta Data Centres managing director Jon Arnold said the company is the first in the industry to offer an SLA of this nature, and it is indicative of the level of service datacentre customers are demanding these days.

“We’re uniquely positioned in that London has got some new 30kV power rings, and we’re uniquely positioned on two, so we’ve got two resilient rings and our two 33kV transformers,” he said.

“With that setup, we have a level of super resiliency in place before we even need to use batteries and generators, and are already able to offer 100% power availability.”

The company’s Tier-III datacentre has been up and running for two years, and Arnold claims the facility’s proximity to London has helped it to secure customers in the financial services and media industries, while its pay-by-the-hour pricing model has proven popular with startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Read more about service-level agreements

This is because it allows them to procure datacentre capacity for as long as they need it, rather than tie them into a year-long contract for three months’ work, for example.

“The feedback we have had from our datacentre prospects is that operators tend to be quite rigid and take it or leave it about what they’re prepared to offer customers,” said Arnold.

The inflexibility offered by certain members of the co-location community has been a recurring topic of discussion within the industry of late, as users look for shorter contracts to supplement the capacity they may already have within private, in-house datacentres that may be nearing end of life.

This is a trend Arnold said his firm is seeing, although customers that sign up for shorter contracts tend to stick around longer than anticipated or take on more capacity over time.

“We’ve had a lot of interest and with people taking it on to help them complete a three-month project, but they have stayed longer because the project has overrun or they want to do more with us,” he added.

Read more on Datacentre backup power and power distribution