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Generator Delays May Slow Data Center Projects 257

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the so-that's-why-mmos-can't-expand-to-meet-needs dept.
miller60 writes "The data center building boom is causing backlogs for new generator orders, with some companies reporting delivery delays of up to a year for new 2,000kw units, which are the current standard for mission-critical facilities. Generator availability is 'the No. 1 thing that will drive your construction schedules,' according to Equinix, which is building centers in three major markets. 'This will be a big issue for the next wave of data center builds,' says another industry executive. Used generators and smaller units tend to be more available than the 2 megawatt units, but companies targeting the enterprise sector may be wary of relaying on used units or smaller generators than those powering competing facilities."
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Generator Delays May Slow Data Center Projects

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  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:02PM (#16580584) Homepage Journal
    "Generator lead time for a nice 2 megawatt diesel engine is now up to a year for one generator," Josh Snowhorn of Terremark said in a panel at the NANOG conference earlier this year.

    HOLY MOLY, that's a lot of power! If you had 250 watt power supplies, all running at maximum, you'd be able to power 8,000 power supplies simultaneously! You could run a small town on a generator that large! Or to put it another way, you could use it to power a Diesel Locomotive capable of pulling dozens of fully loaded cars.

    Wow, just wow. That's just an incredible amount of power to be putting in a datacenter. Is it even possible for these centers to run off the grid?

    "So we can build all the raised floor we want, and then sit around and wait six months for a generator."

    The part that I don't undestand is this: Why do they need just one generator? If you're having difficulties obtaining a 2Mw unit, wouldn't it make sense to get two smaller units? You'd waste a bit of extra space, but you'd have redundancy that a single genearator couldn't offer.
  • by DigitalRaptor (815681) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:03PM (#16580602) Homepage
    Easy, just buy 400 5kw generators instead of 1 2000kw generator.

    You may have to hire more people to start them, though. And change the oil.

  • by eln (21727) * on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:04PM (#16580646) Homepage
    If you've built out your data center but the generators have not yet arrived, a quick and inexpensive solution is to buy several thousand hamsters and hamster wheels. These will keep your data center humming along in the event of an outage. If PETA starts protesting, sysadmins with larger wheels can be substituted. Most of them will find this activity a welcome break from the inane busywork in their everday lives.

  • Suggestion (Score:5, Funny)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:08PM (#16580724) Homepage Journal
    Take out a $10,000 simolian loan and place a natural gas power plant in a corner. It costs $9,000 simolians and produces "moderate pollution", so residential and commercial zones won't develop well nearby. But your city won't grow quickly without a lot of power.
  • by megaditto (982598) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:23PM (#16581000)
    That's just an incredible amount of power to be putting in a datacenter.
    Not if your customers requires sharks with freaking laser beams attached to their heads.

    Why do they need just one generator? [...] wouldn't it make sense to get two smaller units?
    I agree. And just imagine the publicity value of having two smaller 1337 kW genenartors powering up your data center in tandem.
  • by DrYak (748999) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:31PM (#16581140) Homepage
    need 20 or 30 2MW generators! [...]I know there are several 60-75MW units under construction in the US now

    Comming soon on eBay : 100MW generators
    starting bid : 10$
    condition : mint
    reason : our startup went belly up.

    When the next speculation bubble burst, there're sure going to be a lot of diesel mastodonts left every were...

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:43PM (#16581362)
    shipping starting at $1000+
  • by johneee (626549) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:14PM (#16581924)
    Same with Hovercraft. Of course, the supply of hovercraft is quite a bit more limited than locomotives, but that's beside the point.

    Plus, you'd have to deal with all the eels.

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