Electrical Business

Eaton identifies 5 Best Practices to protect IT infrastructure against seasonal power problems

October 7, 2009  By Anthony Capkun

October 7, 2009

Eaton Corp. offers five tips any business can use to reduce the risks associated with against seasonal power problems, and enhance the reliability of IT systems.

1. Know your risks
Power outages are often assumed to be rare and unlikely events, but
severe weather is a major threat to power systems; three of the top
five most significant outages reported in 2008 (in the States) were
caused by hurricanes Ike and Gustav, and tropical storm Hanna. These
storms affected about five million people according to Eaton’s Blackout
Tracker (an online tool that provides a snapshot of reported power
outages across North America).

2. Consider your investments
Even a small server configuration and LAN represents an investment of
tens of thousands of dollars. Add applications, management systems and
critical databases, and it’s clear that significant company assets
depend on power that is not always dependable. Eaton’s Blackout Tracker
Annual Report catalogued more than 2000 power outages in 2008 in the


3. Power problems are equal-opportunity threats
Computers, servers and networks are just as critical to a small
business as a data centre to a large enterprise. In addition to severe
weather, equipment failures, lightning, copper thieves—even wayward
snakes—can cause power disruptions that have the potential to bring
business to a halt. Look beyond generators and surge suppressors and
consider an uninterruptible power system (UPS).

4. Treat any IT equipment location as a data centre
In small- to medium-sized businesses, the rack environment may be the
data centre; even in this environment, it is important to consider the
same logistics as a large data centre, such as access control, thermal
management, power protection and distribution, etc.

5. Determine the level of power protection needed
Consider what type of UPS, best deployment strategy and how much UPS
capacity is required for your business. Assess how much battery power
you need to shut down systems or switch to backup generators. When an
outage extends past the limits of backup systems, power management
software can orchestrate the selective, sequential shutdown of loads to
extend available battery backup time.

A comprehensive power protection plan should not only address power
failure, but other problems such as power sags and surges, line noise
and frequency variation.



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