More businesses and public organisations are realising the significant contribution that data plays in building a diverse, value-for-money energy market with the creative tools to overcome climate and investment challenges. With the more widespread use of data to underpin innovations and new market solutions comes increased reliance on data.
For these reasons, energy market data and the systems it runs across need to continuously expand to accommodate more data in volume and variety and need to be resilient to challenges that arise in the interim. This provides us and our customers with the confidence and freedom to take energy market innovation to new frontiers.
Building resilience and scalability into new and existing ElectraLink systems has been an ongoing objective as we futureproof our systems. Our solutions have been built to scale on a cloud-based storage platform to cope with the potential for more data to be shared in real time and cope with future requirements that the Data Transfer Service (DTS) User Group, which oversees our core services, may request.
As the market evolves, new technologies proliferate and innovative businesses enter the market, and data demands change along with the services that accommodate them. ElectraLink’s platform running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure is reactive to such changes in demand.
With our programme partners, we have extensively tested our solutions with current operational loads. As current demand stands, running our system through AWS allows our services to operate at about five percent of system capacity. This gives significant headroom sufficient for forecasted volumes of data storage and transfer as the market expands.
A fundamental benefit of this setup is reduced costs for new ways of working. Whereas in the past it would require huge budgets to secure extra storage and processing power, cloud technology allows us to drastically reduce the amount we invest in expanding our offering, translating to lower costs for our customers and the market.
To match our platform’s ability to increase the volume and diversity of data stored, the platform’s resilience is based upon core AWS features such as S3 storage and SoftNAS. These tools offer up to 16 Petabytes of storage with extremely high durability, meaning DTS data is replicated diversely to prevent loss and maintains a world-class retention rate.
To support the technological capabilities of our data storage systems, we also have in place contingency measures to ensure all systems function and protect the integrity of any data.
Exposing system errors and persisting issues requires quick detection followed with a swift, effective resolution process to reduce downtime, disruption and compromisation of data. To prevent loss and disruption when a fault emerges, ElectraLink’s systems’ segmented architecture relies on always-on backup infrastructure. For example, if there is a fault with a server, other servers will step in.
A low-cost, scalable and resilient data management system provides us with additional opportunities to manipulate and analyse energy market information. Experimenting with querying means we can provide new views and perspectives on emerging energy market trends with various sources of evidence from our datasets.
This in itself allows greater innovation for us to supply customers with new offerings and solutions to feed into projects and collaborations. Projects like Flexr, our DNO data discovery and standardisation tool currently in development, can emerge and diversify to uncover and utilise all types of industrywide data.
With the increase in new technologies and business models entering the market to tackle a changing energy landscape and the pressures of climate action, data storage and transfer systems need to meet the demands of the market. With various strategies and measures to take on emerging challenges, ElectraLink’s services and platforms are equipped with the resources to expand the variety and volume of data we hold and ignite new understandings and projects to transform the energy market.
Words by Rosella Jones, Head of Cost Recovery Services