Power Protection Featured Article
Power Protection: When the Grid Goes Down
Electricity powers everything – nearly every facet of our way of life.
But what happens when the grid goes down? Millions can be affected – and businesses without power simply stop operations. For those companies employing data centers and other advanced IT infrastructures, these outages can lead to more disastrous consequences – data loss.
With the employment of power protection methods, such as Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), companies can employ strategic shutdowns of their computer equipment – which minimizes the opportunity for data loss or hardware failure.
According to a white paper written by Victor Avelar, entitled, “Preventing Data Corruption in the Event of an Extended Power Outage,” it is important to employ as seamless a shutdown procedure as possible. According to Victor, when electronic equipment is shut down in an orderly fashion, it “minimizes the chance of data loss or hardware failure from a sudden loss of power.”
And there doesn’t need to be a complete loss of power for UPSes to really shine. As per Contingency Planning magazine, simple power disturbances, (such as voltage spikes, electrical line noise, power sags, and surges) are a leading cause of data corruption/loss, system freezes, and hardware damage and account for 45.3 percent of all data loss,
But standalone UPSes need not be your only layer of power protection – there is also software on the market that is designed to work in conjunction with UPS layouts. Usually the software is installed in the configuration and its primary purpose is simply to monitor the network independently. The software is able to encourage shutdowns in the event of danger – even when no one is there to tell it to do so.
So, as a data center manager – or simply an IT professional – how concerned should you be about protecting yourself from power outages?
According to Victor – plenty worried. Using data collected from APC (News - Alert) and IBM, he says that the average number of outages, per IT site, per year, is around the 15 mark. He goes on to categorize the outages – 90 percent are less than five minutes in duration; 99 percent of them are for less than an hour; and the total cumulative average of downtime is approximately 100 minutes per year.
15 times. 100 Minutes. That is plenty of time for data corruption – data loss – and other complications for those who are not prepared with proper power protection strategies.
Erin Monda recently graduated from W.C.S.U. with a degree in professional writing. She primarily writes about network technologies, including cloud computing, virtualization and network optimization, however she also has a focus on E911 technologies and legislation.
Edited by Erin Monda