Sometimes all it takes is seeing a problem befall someone else, to realize it could happen to you too.
This happened to me recently, when I was trying to buy furniture at one of the major outlets during a holiday sales rush. (I'll be nice and not name names.) Their computer systems went down, and suddenly, they couldn't process anything but cash transactions for hours!
As a result, they couldn't complete my credit check, and I went away empty-handed. Luckily for them, I did return a few days later... but how many others did not? Why didn't they have battery backup system in place?
How Much Damage Can A Server Outage Do?
According to a recent Emerson Network Power study, an outage at a major data center costs nearly $8,000 per minute. That cost is, of course, spread out over all the smaller firms that are utilizing their services.
Another study, in 2011, estimated that network outages cost $26.5 billion dollars annually to American businesses.
It's a serious concern for a lot of businesses: The more you benefit from global telecommunications and an online presence, the more harmful it is if your network ever crashes due to power interruption. You could suffer:
Lost data and productive work among employees
Global or telecommuting workers cut off from the office
Lost leads and sales during the outage
Hardware damage, or lost network settings
Costly last-minute or overnight repairs
Upset customers locked out of their accounts
Loss of prestige and faith
Potential legal liability
On an individual level, the losses could be anywhere from hundreds of dollars, to tens of thousands or more, for every hour of lost connectivity.
A Battery Backup System: Your Network's Insurance Policy
Ultimately, as you embrace more online technologies, you're likely to hit a point that a power failure becomes more than an inconvenience. That's when businesses are glad they have a robust Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to keep their operations going.
A UPS serves two functions at once. It can:
1) Provide surge protection, regulating the current going to sensitive electronics, and
2) Sustain battery backup sufficient for running the hardware attached to it.
So a UPS isn't simply for battery backup - it also guards your hardware investments against damage by ensuring that the power going to them is always constant. Larger and more complex pieces of equipment can be especially to susceptible to fluctuations in the power flow, so surge protection pays off every day you're running.
The battery backup, of course, is there for emergencies. On more basic UPS models, the battery only lasts for perhaps 5 minutes - long enough for workers to save their work and shut down their computers in a safe fashion.
On the other hand, if your operations simply cannot be interrupted, options are available for batteries that can provide a full day of power, or more.
Finding The Right Balance Of Battery Backup Cost And Coverage
While it would certainly be great if we all had 24 hours of backup power, the truth is that batteries capable of this are also quite expensive. There may be no reason to invest in so much backup, if you have no reason to expect extensive failure.
We suggest consulting with your budgeting and planning offices, and trying to put together an estimate of how much, per hour, a network outage would end up costing your business. This usually gives a good guideline for how much backup power to buy.
If you can get the data, information on power outage frequency and duration in your area can also be a big help.
Ultimately, nature can create disasters that can overwhelm any contingency planning. The key is finding a balance between the initial costs, and what sort of emergencies you're likely to encounter.
Always Protect Your Network!
Power protection for networks has become a "must" for modern online businesses. If you're concerned about your current preventative measures, please don't hesitate to ask us for more advice! Hummingbird Networks carries a full range of Tripp Lite Battery Backup Systems and APC battery backups.