Electricity is one of the things that IT most commonly takes for granted, which is kind of amusing since all of IT is basically just corralling power to different places for different uses. This blog series is going to talk about wall power and why IT needs to put more of a focus on it.
The timing of this series is also specific because in the Midwest and Central U.S. we’re about to be heading into our stormy season during spring and summer. Power matters more at this time of year for us because as the storms/tornadoes roll in, power often blinks, surges, under-volts, or goes out completely. However, depending on where you are and the quality of your electricity company, this can be an issue at any time of the year.
Most computer/networking equipment does not like having any type of interruptions or changes in its power. At best, the device’s power supplies will get a bit grumpy, but everything keeps working. At worst, the power supply blows up and takes the whole device with it. Devices can fail in all manner of ways when there are power issues, including sometimes just getting quirky. Recovery from this type of event can be as easy as turning the device back on and waiting for it to boot to having corruption in the OS/data to having to fully replace the device.
All of these reasons typically make late winter to early spring a great time to validate that your environment is prepared for these situations. Check your backups, offsite backups, and the strategy around all of business continuity. Make sure your uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes) are in place, are well serviced, are properly configured, and tested. There’s nothing quite as disconcerting for an IT person as walking into a dead silent server room.
Moving forward we’re going to cover a few things in particular:
- What a UPS does and how it does it,
- How to size UPS,
- How to take care of your UPS, and making you, and your servers aware of power issues,
- External considerations (cooling, long term running, etc.).
Check back with us next week to review what UPS does and how.