Even if you have an Uninterruptible Power Supply, it may not be enough power protection for your business. We saw this with one of our clients a couple weeks ago, unfortunately. They had a UPS installed, but had added equipment to their network without considering the capacity of their backup batteries. When a power failure hit, they lost everything, because their UPS wasn't able to maintain all the hardware attached to it. Instead of having minutes to save their data, they only had seconds. They lost thousands of dollars in the process.
Why You Need A Reliable Battery Backup System
I. Preventing data loss.
Not everyone needs such a robust UPS system that they can run for hours on battery power. In most cases, the single most important function a UPS can serve in any office is simply buying a few minutes for everyone to save whatever they're working on.
It's a small thing, but power protection helps ensure a power outage is merely an inconvenience, and not a disaster for individual workers who see a day's work vanish. Accordingly, we also recommend telling your workers about your policies and your estimates for battery backup times. If there's only five minutes of power, everyone needs to know that before those five minutes start counting down.
II. Protecting sensitive equipment.
Probably the second most-important role of a UPS is to protect the equipment throughout your office. Obviously, we all know that an unexpected power surge can damage virtually any electronics, from computers to telephones.
However, this becomes even more true when dealing with servers and other high-performance computer hardware. Even small voltage fluctuations can damage their sensitive internal wiring. Other pieces of hardware are intended to never be shut off, and may require reprogramming or reconfiguration if they ever power down completely.
Between the potential damage to your hardware, and the possibility of losing vital configuration information, you should try to do everything possible to prevent power surges and power losses from damaging them. An environmental monitor in your server room can also help in this role, by providing another route for warnings to reach you in case of emergency.
III. Continuity of Business
Then there are the organizations that simply cannot be shut down. After all, according to estimates, power outages ultimately cost $80 billion dollars to US businesses every year. On an individual level, an outage may cost anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars in lost revenues.
If you're concerned about the true hourly cost of a power outage, we suggest discussing it with your accountant or CFO. They should be able to give you a fair estimate of what a serious power outage would do to your daily revenues. From there, you'll have a lot more hard information for deciding how much UPS battery backup power to buy. Current UPS systems allow for daisy-chained batteries and virtually unlimited power, but we won't lie: the batteries necessary for hours of continuity are usually incredibly expensive. An on-site backup power generator may be cheaper to maintain in many cases.
However, if your data center or server room simply can not be allowed to shut down, a knowledge of your hourly losses will give you a good idea how many hours of backup to purchase.
Make Your UPS A Smart Investment
Remember, it's not enough to simply have a UPS. You need a well-maintained UPS with a battery that's sufficient to power everything attached to it for however long you need to keep your systems running.
If it's been a few years since you've purchased a UPS, it may be time for an upgrade. Between additional equipment attached to it, and the inevitable slow decay of rechargeable chemical batteries, an older UPS may not be reliable any more to give you the power protection your network needs.
And for more help with maintaining your system's power, please don't hesitate to contact us with your questions!