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The importance of power management and backup solutions for South African businesses cannot be argued
After all, even though we have seemingly moved past the infamous load-shedding incidents of 2008 our power remains notoriously unstable, with spikes, surges and dips in voltage that can cause damage to expensive equipment as well as frequent power failures that can cause loss or corruption of data.
UPS solutions along with generators are prerequisites for protecting data and equipment from the dangers of unstable power supply. However as the needs of businesses change and the world moves towards a greener, more sustainable future, there is a growing requirement for greater intelligence when it comes to power management solutions.
No longer is it simply enough to have a UPS along with a generator for extended power outages and to help regulate the supply of power to equipment. Thanks to new laws that require significant energy savings from businesses as well as rising costs of utilities and increasing pressure for greater eco-consciousness, it is also necessary to actively reduce electricity consumption.
This is where intelligent power management solutions come to the fore. These solutions combine smart software which enables the shutdown of peripheral devices while leaving mission critical equipment up and running during a power outage, as well as the automatic shut down of equipment that is not in use even when power is clean and stable.
Along with power monitoring software, intelligent power management and backup solutions are crucial for the effective running and maintenance of the data centre. Along with the ability to allow for intelligent running and management of attached equipment, these tools actively monitor power usage continuously, so that they can not only protect equipment in the event of power surges, dips and outages, they can also help businesses to understand exactly where they are consuming power.
By reporting on power consumption on a regular basis, power monitoring software can prove invaluable as it will enable businesses to understand their power consumption and rectify any inefficient operations. It also enables the real time measuring and monitoring of power consumptions and heat emissions by individual server, server group or location, so that organisations can ensure that data centres are kept at a temperature optimal to the maintenance of a sound data centre.
The world is constantly changing and the IT space is no exception. As equipment becomes more sophisticated it is also necessary to have increasingly sophisticated solutions to protect this equipment.
The move now is away from the typical, traditional UPS that simply ran in the background 24 hours a day in case of emergency, to devices that can actively help organisations to save money. With in-built intelligence UPS devices now have the ability, through being constantly connected to certain equipment, to monitor their usage and intelligently switch off load equipment that is not being used. This translates into electricity savings on everyday usage along with the mandatory protection these devices deliver.
Power monitoring tools also allow for more intelligent use of equipment, as through the reporting features organisations can easily gauge where power is being used unnecessarily and turn off non-critical equipment when it is not needed. During power outages this ensures that the generator runs at a lower capacity, using less fuel and saving money, and can run other equipment long enough for a stateful shutdown to be performed, so that data can be protected.
When looking to purchase a UPS and/or generator there are several considerations that need to be taken into account. Firstly the generator needs to be powerful enough to run all of the essential equipment, and should have a margin for future growth, as should the UPS. Secondly the UPS needs to be able to keep all mission critical equipment running for long enough so that the generator can kick in or that the equipment can safely be shut down in the case of a generator failure. Finally, with new demands being placed on power consumption and decreasing energy bills, it is becoming vital to choose a UPS solution with in-built intelligence to automatically switch off non-essential equipment.
A UPS solution along with a backup generator are crucial equipment for today's businesses, as together they ensure that machines never suddenly switch off, which can cause corrupted or lost data, and regulate the power supply so that the effects of unclean power can be minimised, once again protecting data. They also enable continued productivity during power failures, which is crucial to the smooth running of any business. Intelligent solutions combine this with smart power management and maintenance tools.
Without an intelligent power management and backup solution organisations put their data, and as a result, their business, at risk.
By Robert Brandt, UPS & Infrastructure Product Specialist at Drive Control