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Power protecting your IT with Geek-Guru

So, Yesterdays power outage at a major data centre in London got us thinking. If one of the largest data centres in the UK can suffer a 100% power loss for several hours how would the average SME fair in a protracted power outage? Geek-Guru server solutions always come with some form of power protection to ensure that critical systems shut themselves down cleanly during a power outage. However, experience has shown that many SMEs dont have even basic power protection in place. Read on for the buzz on power protection.

The basics of power protection

For most SMEs power protection is achieved through the use of an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). A UPS is basically a large lead-acid battery attached to a unit that can convert to and from 240V AC to the 12V DC that the battery stores. A UPS kicks in on a failure of mains supply and provides a temporary 240V supply for anything attached to it. Obviously the unit can only provide power whilst the battery retains some charge and UPS devices range from small desktop devices, which provide power for a desktop PC for a few minutes, up to large rack mount units that can provide power to a server for several hours.

What do you want from a backup power system?

At a bare minimum a UPS should have large enough runtime for your critical systems to shut themselves down cleanly. In the case of a server this is around 10-20 minutes depending on the roles it performs. Whilst this will protect your systems from an incorrect shutdown but once shutdown your systems are no longer operational and therefore inaccessible for business use. A business may decide that actually they require some minimal IT function during a black-out and in these cases additional runtime will be required to keep those systems running for a longer duration.

UPS sizing

UPS devices are sized in volt-amps (VA) but also have a watt rating (W), neither of which can be exceededfor the unit to operate during a power-cut. Typically the watt rating of small UPS systems is around 60% of the volt-amp rating so to power a 500W server would require an 833VA UPS. However, runtime is also an important calculation and largerVA values for UPS systems will provide greater runtime for a specific power load.

Complex power arrangements

Complex power arrangements are beyond the scope of this blog post but rest assured Geek-Guru are on hand to design and plan a UPS deployment specifically for your business needs. Why not get in touch today to see how Geek-Guru can keep your business running when everyone else is twiddling their thumbs in the dark.

Posted on by Tim
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