Avoiding Power Outages: Keep Your Services On

Let’s face it. At first glance, there’s nothing particularly exciting about preventing power outages. Keeping the lights on isn’t nearly as cool as sniffing out software bugs, or as thrilling as thwarting hardware failure.

But, when the battery backup fails, it can expose serious system weaknesses, putting the survivability of the underlying network at risk and valuable data on the line.

Interestingly, a 2014 Avaya analysis revealed that power outages are the No. 1 most preventable type of outage. In fact, out of the top five most common outage types, the relatively mundane factors of power and maintenance correlate more highly to the potential benefits of employing prevention practices than the complex mix of hardware, software and networks.

The same analysis revealed that 81 percent of power outages could potentially have been avoided had leading preventative practices been followed.

In this case, the leading practices hone in on the uninterruptible power supply, or UPS.

Think of UPS as the battery backup. It’s the electrical source that provides emergency power when the main power fails. Haven’t thought about your UPS in a while? It’s time.

As organizations grow, so does the mix of gear relying on UPS units. Those units are essential to keeping systems operating despite lightning strikes, turbulent storms and other power disruptions. If there aren’t enough units to go around, well, you’re left in the dark.

There’s an easy fix, though. When you’re adding equipment, be sure to audit your power requirements and right-size the UPS.

Here’s how:

  • Review UPS specifications to validate they meet the specifications of the systems they support.
  • Consult with your UPS vendor to establish a framework for periodic audits.
  • When adding new equipment, determine if the UPS is adequate to maintain all equipment until power is restored.
  • Review the UPS product lifecycles to clearly understand manufacturer support of the equipment.

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