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Storms, Power, and Systems - Are You Ready?

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Storms, Power, and Systems - Are You Ready? (c)2011 Jim Bennett, myBatteryman.comSSSo you heard today that the hurricane season is coming and you have the responsibility of keeping your company's Information Technology assets working. But the storm is not on top of you, and you can take one of two views on it.You can ignore the warning, after all you cannot run around yelling "The Sky is falling". Maybe you like to work in a disaster recovery mode. After all lots of people like to feel important in times of need.On the other hand you may want to assure that you roll through the storm with little effect. This direction will allow you to take a few prudent steps now to minimize systems downtime later.As I write this, I cannot help but think about how little recognition comes from prudence, but over many years I have oscillated between these two response patterns. Maybe I have ran through all of my adrenaline. I like to be prepared to handle the unexpected.Of course, Hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunder storms all can hardly be called unexpected in most places. Unless you work in the Sahara or somewhere exotic, to assume you need not plan seems foolish. But I admit I haveworked in more than a few teams that just think they are bothe invincible and I guress immortal.So what is the likely scenario you may see in any time of tempest?1. Power black outs or brownouts as the storm enters proxima.2. Backup Power supplies detect glitch and begin supporting the Information technology systems.3. Power restores momentarily and Bacup power supplies continue supplying power or may reset and allow grid power to resume powering the systems.4. Some systems go down as power outage continues and backup batteries fail.5. Systems are damaged as power surges and perhaps lightning strikes blow out the equipment.So this is a picture of trouble that is headed your way now or later. What can you do in advance? Some things you should be doing for simple business continuity reasons. The routine things like data backups, of site storage o backup. But what else can you do?If you are like most IT teams, you have a pile of unused and is card in place Uninterruptable Power Supplies. I suggest that you consider re=powering these extra power supplies with new batteries and do this as a redundant, but Unpowered and disconnected unit to be used immediately after grid power is restored to your facility. Pending need you will power these units up to top off their charge them return them to disconnected standby. Charging these on a monthly schedule should suffice to assure they are available when you really need them. Remember that a power restoration is not an assurance that power will not fluctuate as crews make repairs in places near and far from you and on a schedule you cannot know. So the the spare and ready backup power units will assure that you have a healthy fully charged support system as you bring your production environment back to life.You could purchase extra UPS units to supply this protection. But the discarded units can be eaily and cheaply be re-powered. In the case of APC Smart Cell or Smart UPS units, Tripp Lite or Powerwave, this replacement is easy and simple. Please feel free to call me to discuss this anytime. 317-222-1329You can expect that batteries to re-power you spent UPS to full power will cost about 15 percent of the replacement cost of the UPS, but this varies. You can feel comfortable that you can do this re-power easily and by preparing early, you will able to rapidly restore your primary backup power supplies following production system restoration.
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