DataCenterNews Asia logo
Specialist data center news for Asia
Partner content
Story image

Q&A: MaxBill CEO talks data centre growth and its impact on energy billing

By Nick Forrester
Mon 24 Aug 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The global data center industry has seen significant growth in the past decade, especially through investments in hyperscale data center led by Google, Facebook, AWS, Microsoft and others.

As a result, the industry’s reputation as a notorious energy guzzler has come under extra scrutiny, and the relationship between data centers and energy companies has become more critical than ever. 

Techday spoke to MaxBill chief executive officer Kirill Rechter, who discusses the effect that the rapid growth of data centers has had on the billing models and processes of electricity companies.
 

How has the growth of enterprise data centers impacted their overall energy consumption?

I recently read a study published by Science Magazine that details how, despite massive gains in computing power and data center hardware deployments over the past decade, data centers increased their energy usage by only a rather modest margin.

This study estimates that there has only been a 6% growth in power consumption, thanks mostly to the improved energy efficiency and the move to the cloud. Most cloud-based data centers are better optimised for efficient energy consumption than legacy enterprise data centers running operations on their premises.

Most data centers are using electricity that is coming from a local power grid, where energy from renewable sources is not yet a significant part of the energy mix. This has created an opportunity for renewable energy providers to directly address data centers as a specific customer segment.

The ongoing growth of data centers in number and size also puts more pressure on smaller utility companies, as they have to make up their commitments by increasing their produced capacity and find new ways to source electricity or partner with larger market players.
 

Are electricity companies approaching data centers with dedicated billing models?

Yes, this is certainly happening. It is, of course, a logical move since the data center industry is becoming one of the major consumers on the market. 

For many years, most electricity companies have approached factories and other manufacturing enterprises with large volumes of electricity consumption with dedicated billing models. The same is now happening with data centers. 
 

Many data center services are now being offered with zero-touch provisioning (ZTP). Does this service delivery method impact billing processes in any capacity?

ZTP is a great way of creating a fully automated data center environment. It is certainly beneficial for the overall data center efficiency, including more efficient energy consumption.

From the perspective of billing processes, the automation of business processes and contract configurations contribute to quicker billing cycles and more accurate billing outputs. 
 

What can you recommend to electricity companies for managing their relationships with data center customers?

Our recommendation to electricity providers is to approach data centers as a defined customer segment. This means that electricity providers should offer specific products and services tailored to the particular needs and consumption patterns of data center customers. 

As part of this, an electricity company should have dedicated account managers that maintain clear and fast communication with its data center customers to be constantly up to date with their requirements and be able to adjust the operations accordingly.  

Another vital aspect is the automation of the processes. It cannot be stressed enough how important this is for the long-term success of a customer relationship. 

The automation of business processes according to the configurations of the contract between the electricity provider and the data center customers should be as automated at the start of the relationship and maximised as much as possible. 

This will enable more efficient, scalable and accurate billing operations. It will remove the need for manual input and reduce the potential for human error that can be time-consuming to correct and can be damaging to the business relationship. 
 

Is COVID-19 creating any issues between data centers and electricity companies?

The feedback we are getting from electricity providers, especially those in Europe, is that electricity consumption from industrial customers – which includes data centers – has remained constant so far. 

However, both data centers and electricity companies are experiencing elongated process cycles due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Much of this has to do with staff shortages and new working environments caused by the extended lockdowns and ongoing slowdowns in many countries. 

Of course, this is not unique to the relationship between electricity providers and their data center clients, and is something that is impacting many industries. 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Sustainability
Intel unveils new investments for data center sustainability
Intel has announced two new investments, continuing its efforts to create more sustainable data center technology.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Colocation
Digital Edge chooses Nortek’s StatePoint for new data center
Digital Edge will use Nortek's StatePoint liquid cooling technology in its new data center, the first commercial colocation operator in Asia to do so.
Story image
Sustainability
Daikin and SP Group to build new energy efficient district cooling system
The project, set to be complete by 2025, will create a system with a cooling capacity of up to 36,000 refrigerant tonnes (RT). 
Story image
SD-WAN
Orange moves Siemens AG’s entire operations to a SD-WAN
Orange Business Services has migrated Siemens AG's entire global operations, 1168 sites across 94 countries, to a SD-WAN
Story image
Power / Energy
DigitalBridge makes $30 million equity investment in LEDC
Leading Edge Data Centres (LEDC) has announced it has secured an AUD$30 million equity investment in its regional edge network from an affiliate of DigitalBridge Group, DigitalBridge.
Story image
Akamai
Akamai announces new products across security, computing
Akamai has announced a series of new products and updates to existing products across its security and compute product lines, including its entry into the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market.
Story image
Tech Data
Tech Data to use Pluribus Networks’ cloud solutions in APAC
Tech Data says using Pluribus Networks' Unified Cloud Fabric solution will be a "game-changer" for its data center infrastructure customers and partners.
Story image
Data Center
CBRE finds record levels of investment in APAC data centers
CBRE's new report finds direct investment in the sector more than doubled in 2021, surpassing investment volumes for the past four years combined
Story image
Infrastructure
Report - Data investment the key to better business growth
New research from Digital Realty has revealed that almost half (47%) of IT leaders globally believe their business investment in data systems and infrastructure is a key obstacle or concern.
Story image
Power / Energy
Keysight Technologies introduces new next-gen DPT solution
Keysight Technologies has announced its new next-generation Double-Pulse Tester (DPT) with the PD1550A Advanced Dynamic Power Device Analyser.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Cloud
Colt connectivity with AWS increases services in Asia
Colt Technology Services expands cloud connectivity to AWS Direct Connect Hosted services, with speeds of up to 10 Gbps in Asia.
Story image
Red Hat
Red Hat expands capabilities to provide streamlined application development in cloud
"Application development is undergoing significant change and developers need tools to support this transformation."
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Hyperscale
SpaceDC partners with Aofei for data center sales in Asia
SpaceDC has partnered with Aofei Data International to sell Aofei's data centers, CDN and SDN in China.
Story image
Telstra
Telstra expands business offerings in the Philippines
The expansion aims to offer more choice for customers and enhance connectivity into the Philippines, and within the country.
Story image
Sustainability
AirTrunk boosts Japan presence with West Tokyo data center
AirTrunk is planning to build TOK2, a new hyperscale data center in Japan which will strengthen the company’s presence in the country.
Story image
Cable
New high-performance cable in the works for Asia
A new high-performance submarine cable is being built to enhance connectivity between Hong Kong, China and Southeast Asia.
Story image
Databricks
Databricks grows in APAC market, expands into Korea
Databricks officially launches a local office in Seoul, Korea, building on existing partnerships with Cloocus, Megazone and the Weverse Company
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Sustainability
NTT launches IoT Services for Sustainability offering
"We know what actions are needed to build a more sustainable future and have a robust suite of technologies available to help deliver this impact."
Story image
Digital Transformation
EdgeConneX enters Indonesia, plans for data center campus
EdgeConnex has announced it is expanding its presence in Asia with the acquisition of GTN Data Center in Indonesia.
Story image
Data Center
Tier III Ready Datacenter solutions shortlisted for major awards
"These designs will accelerate data center clients' own Tier III certification, reduce the cost, and fast-track their time to market."
Story image
Sustainability
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - SoftIron CMO on Data Center Sustainability
In a special Power/Energy feature week presentation, we are joined by SoftIron CMO Andrew Moloney.
Story image
Sustainability
ABB unlocks sustainable energy upgrades for data centers
ABB says its new microgrid solutions will get data centers ready for the green revolution and use their own energy sources with a reduced carbon footprint.
Story image
Sustainability
YTL unveils development of solar-powered data center campus
YTL Power (YTL) has announced the development of a 500MW data center campus in Johor, the first data center park in Malaysia to be powered by solar energy.
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Kacific launches emergency connectivity offering, CommsBox
Kacific has announced the release of a new emergency connectivity offering designed to rapidly provide broadband service in emergency or disaster zones.
Story image
Sustainability
Siemens showcases new automated solutions for data centers
Siemens has implemented new automated solutions and AI in the Baltic region's largest data center, providing insight into the future of data center management.
Story image
Data Center
Digital Edge to build South Korea's largest commercial data center
The project will be the largest commercial data center project in South Korea with total IT power of 120MW and a capital investment of more than KWR$1 trillion.
Story image
Storage
Energy storage demand momentum continues, says BYD
BYD has announced an expansion of its production capacities and will deliver 250,000 units of its energy storage system, BYD Battery-Box Premium.
Story image
Research
New strategies for cloud-native attacks - Aqua Security
New research from Aqua Security reveals attackers are using more sophisticated techniques to target cloud-native environments.
Story image
BitTitan
Why tenant consolidation is critical to cloud success
Consolidating tenants can improve cost management, security and engagement after a flurry of reactive activity following the widespread shift to remote operations.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Story image
APAC
Odaseva expands in APAC and UK with more security features
Odaseva, a data platform for Salesforce, is establishing new headquarters in London as well as a new data center in India.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Multiplex, NEXTDC making strong progress on S3 data centre
Multiplex has made a significant achievement on Stage 1 of NEXTDC’s S3 data centre, ‘topping out’ the structure in the Artarmon on Sydney’s lower North Shore.