For any data-driven organisation, downtime spells disaster, but without data centre UPS systems in place, a mains power blackout could lead to substantial lost earnings and can even bring about an exodus of customers that leads to insolvency.
As cloud computing increasingly becomes the norm, many businesses use external data farms for everything from provision of mission-critical software, to cloud storage of important files, to server virtualisation and, in theory, enhanced business continuity and resiliency.
So it’s not surprising that many data centres operate on ambitious uptime targets that far exceed even the ‘five nines’ pledge of 99.999% availability that was once the gold standard for the industry.
Internal threats from data centre blackouts
While the external face of a data centre is the cloud storage and services it provides, internally the threat of a data centre blackout is much more complex.
A loss of mains power doesn’t just switch off the servers – it can also impact a wide range of equipment, potentially damaging hardware such that it cannot simply be switched back on when the power is restored.
Because of this, data centre UPS systems should protect more than just the server farm itself:
- Air conditioning and server cooling systems.
- Modems, routers, switches and other networking devices.
- Building management systems including access and security systems.
- Emergency systems including fire alarms and fire suppression.
- External disk drives and storage towers.
With contracted performance levels to hit and high-value technology at stake, it is not uncommon to see a fairly high degree of redundancy designed into data centres, to keep systems running no matter what happens.
Redundancy in data centre UPS
To achieve the desired level of redundancy in data centre UPS systems, you simply calculate the total combined load of equipment to be protected.
You then install two or more UPS systems, each of which has the capacity in its own right to keep the equipment running.
In the event of one UPS failing, the other system powers the data centre alone; if neither UPS fails, you have extra capacity to keep equipment powered up for longer, which is no bad thing.
Always-on UPS for data centres
A significant feature of data centre UPS supplies is their online topology. This is the electronic architecture that provides power to the critical load at all times, even when the mains power cuts out, so the servers never see a break in supply to power down and data to be lost.
This again is a feature critical in certain industries, placing data centres alongside healthcare life support systems and power station control equipment in terms of importance.
Northern Power UPS can help you to find the correct UPS system for your data centre, no matter the size of your server farm or the service level agreements you need to uphold – call us on 0844 80 999 75 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.