{% set baseFontFamily = "Open Sans" %} /* Add the font family you wish to use. You may need to import it above. */

{% set headerFontFamily = "Open Sans" %} /* This affects only headers on the site. Add the font family you wish to use. You may need to import it above. */

{% set textColor = "#565656" %} /* This sets the universal color of dark text on the site */

{% set pageCenter = "1100px" %} /* This sets the width of the website */

{% set headerType = "fixed" %} /* To make this a fixed header, change the value to "fixed" - otherwise, set it to "static" */

{% set lightGreyColor = "#f7f7f7" %} /* This affects all grey background sections */

{% set baseFontWeight = "normal" %} /* More than likely, you will use one of these values (higher = bolder): 300, 400, 700, 900 */

{% set headerFontWeight = "normal" %} /* For Headers; More than likely, you will use one of these values (higher = bolder): 300, 400, 700, 900 */

{% set buttonRadius = '40px' %} /* "0" for square edges, "10px" for rounded edges, "40px" for pill shape; This will change all buttons */

After you have updated your stylesheet, make sure you turn this module off

Is the Data Center Generator You Depend on Adequate for Your Needs?

Is the Data Center Generator You Depend on Adequate for Your Needs?Imagine. Everything seems to be working fine until ‘click’ – no more power from your electricity provider.

With some data centers requiring megawatts of power delivered at levels as high as 20 kilovolts, backup power has to be solid and sufficient to keep everything going till normal power is restored. The data center generator is the way most enterprises and service providers go. However, there’s more to a decent generator solution than meets the eye.

Power Output

Data center generator output must meet the total requirements for power in the data center.

Servers and networking equipment are the obvious items, but lighting (both inside and outside for security), heating, cooling, fire detection, and other emergency systems must all work too.

On the other hand, with backup generator solutions potentially running into tens of thousands of dollars, you don’t want to go overboard on unused capacity either.


Sometimes one highly reliable unit is all that is required or that can be installed.

However, one backup generator on its own is a single point of failure. Parallel installations of generators provide redundancy.

The generator configuration must also mesh with other parts of an overall uninterruptible power supply solutions like battery backup. Which brings us to our next point…

Start-Up Time

Large power generators for data centers often don’t generate electricity immediately. There is a start-up time, shorter or longer depending on the type used, even if it is possible to maintain some generators in a pre-heated state for rapid start-up.

While the generator is starting up, the battery backup must take over supplying the power required so that there is no undue break in service.

Less battery backup means shorter start-up times, and vice versa.

Monitoring and Management

You may not be able to have physical access to your generator in an emergency situation.

A data center generator therefore also needs to allow remote monitoring and management via its own network connection.

It should also automatically and reliably start up if main power fails. At least one high-profile outage has been due to the failure of generators to kick in when needed.

Longer Term Operation

How long will you need to run your generator?

In extreme cases like recent hurricanes, neighborhoods have been without power and fuel for days.

In that case, not only will you need big enough fuel reserves, but you will also need a generator that allows for in-operation maintenance as required for truly uninterruptible power supply.

Environmental Concerns

Will your generator run on diesel, on gas, or could you be using another solution altogether?

EPA restrictions may apply to essentially toxic fumes from diesel generators.

Fuel cell backup is cleaner. Solar panels are another solution with the potential to move even large data center power backup over to renewable, non-polluting systems.

Test, Test, and Test Again

If you don’t test your data center power backup from time to time, you’ll never know if it will work.

Bigger data centers may need weekly generator testing. Not only does the generator itself have to work, but the fuel it uses must always be in good condition. The degradation of diesel fuel, when kept too long, is a potential problem here.


Are data centers fated to use diesel generators for the foreseeable future, or is renewable energy already a viable option? Give us your point of view in the Comments section below.

If you're in the data center, mission critical or cloud services industries, or you sell to the data center industry, don't miss our weekly update newsletter -- Data Center Sales & Marketing Institute (DCSMI) Update Newsletter. Get notified about new reports, events, podcasts, and blog posts.

Data Center Sales & Marketing Institute (DCSMI) Update Newsletter

Topics: Data Center Colocation

Recent Posts