Lawyer Bait

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Story (and Myth) of Metered Power

I was in Dallas, TX this week meeting with a number of companies from Real Estate Brokers to Data Center partners to enterprises. One thing I heard three times was that metered power isn't always metered power - it all has to do with where you put the meter.

At my company we put the meter on the panel that feeds the servers, switches and the gear you house with us. I thought that was the norm and industry standard. Boy was I wrong!

I found out in the course of discussions that some colocation providers put meters on the outside of the building or pod. What's the difference you ask? Big difference!

If you take the base colocation rent that is let's say 100Kw of critical load (draw) and multiply it times .5 and add the 50Kw to the rent to cover cooling and infrastructure, You pay for 150Kw of potential draw and that's what a provider will give you. That's great if the critical draw is 100Kw going to your equipment. Makes sense.

If the meter is placed on the corner of the building or outside the pod, not only are you paying for the critical draw, you are paying for lights, copiers, office space A/C, and everything else NOT related to your gear. Plus 50%. Ouch.

Buyer beware and be sure legal catches this. At $200Kw you could be paying 100-150% of the price per Kw to run signage that's not yours, coffee machines you'll never drink a drop from, and offices that are kept at 64 degrees after hours. Not a good deal, in this or any economic climate.

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