Thursday, 22 March 2018

I Have The Power...

Power, it's a funny old thing. Sometimes you can't live with it but if you're running a busy working environment you can most definitely not live without it! But when the lights go out you need to make sure your systems are protected.

If you are running a server on-site then a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is a must! Servers & PC's hate nothing more than being denied access to power unexpectedly, or to experience fluctuations in power.

Power Surges

Power surges are caused by a multitude of  things from lightning strikes to faulty electrical appliances, and they’re dangerous as they can cause significant damage to a server or PC.

The best situation is that your devices get away Scott free from any damage. Next on the list is that there could be data loss or minor hardware damage which could result in the need to replace your computer’s power supply unit or other hardware. Worst case, the damage could be damning, resulting in a severely damaged hardware including the mainboard.

Remember that all cables can carry power surges, including phone and Ethernet cables. Some surge protectors include support for these items as well, but not all of them do. It’s your responsibility to make sure all of your important devices are properly protected

Power Cuts

As well as power surges, you should also think about protection against power cuts . In most cases, a sudden disconnection from power could cause data loss, as well as terminal damage to hard drives and SSD's (solid state Drives).

Hard drives are especially susceptible to the read and write head physically scratching the disk. Solid State Drives do not have any moving parts, however they are still vulnerable to power failure as they are still susceptible to corruption, or in some instances they can cease to function entirely.

As previously mentioned, the best practice is to have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) in place for all servers and PC's (if possible) to help protect your hardware form electrical damage.

A UPS is an external battery that can provide protection from fluctuations in power, it will also keep your systems up and running long enough for a safe shutdown of your systems to take place. Most UPS's come with software that will automate this process in the  event of a power outage lasting a specific length of time, meaning that if a power outage occurs outside of normal working hours your systems are at less risk of electrical damage.

However, just because you have had a power outage it does not mean that anything not working the next day can be blamed on it. I have been called out on more than one occasion to investigate why a PC will not boot up or a monitor or printer will not turn on. In many of these cases I have found that the answer was very simple.... Always ensure that you have checked if the device is plugged in or that the power switch has been turned on at the socket!

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