When the power goes off …

 In Hardware and Software

I love heading to the beach during summer, but seasonal heatwaves bring some unfortunate realities. Bushfire season, wild summer storms and blocks of days over 35 degrees all push our emergency and utilities services to their absolute limits. Power disruptions are just one of the inevitable consequences of these conditions.

The unreliability of Melbourne’s power supply in wild weather is a problem not only because of the immediate impact on business operations but also because it’s a big contributor to IT disruption and equipment failure.

The problems with our power supply

Most organisations are critically dependent on IT equipment and access to the data network, in real time, 24/7. That equipment relies on uninterrupted electrical power, which we can’t count on. The Eaton blackout tracker shows that the east coast states of Australia experienced 75 blackouts in the last 9 months.

Power failures such as the dramatic outage recently experienced in South Australia can really mess with your technology and cause you major headaches and frustration. And let’s not forget the outages in October this year that saw many suburbs in Melbourne’s outer east lose power for nearly a week! But power failure is just one kind of power-related threat to your IT systems.

Power surges can lead to premature hardware failures and brownouts can damage power supply components and trigger computer re-booting.

Protect yourself with a UPS


A UPS (uninterruptible power supply) provides surge protection and backup power from a few minutes to up to an hour or more, depending on the size of the UPS unit. In the case of an outage it affords you the time to shut your server down properly, so that there’s no permanent damage done to the hardware or data.

Unfortunately, power disruptions aren’t restricted to business hours and the odds are that it will happen when there’s nobody in the office to manage shutdowns. An effective UPS will cover you at all hours with:

  • user notification of power loss
  • automatic shutdown
  • customisable shutdown commands
  • conservation mode
  • battery replacement warning
  • remote management tools.

Whereas, an ineffective UPS is one that:

  • won’t provide enough power duration to shut down completely
  • is poor quality – the actual hardware won’t last more than 2 years
  • lacks many of the features listed above, particularly network remote management features.

Make sure you get the right UPS for the job

In order to choose the best UPS that will adequately protect you, you need to answer these key questions:

  1. What is the electrical load that will be plugged into the UPS?
  2. Are there any special requirements surrounding the protection of my critical equipment?
  3. What are my priorities for protecting my critical equipment?

As you can see these questions are very technical, and it might be one of those occasions when seeking professional help can really pay off.

Have your UPS professionally installed, monitored and maintained

If you’re interested in purchasing a UPS, we can help you out at Proactive IT solutions by:

  • ensuring it’s the right one for your needs
  • configuring it to shut down servers in the appropriate amount of time
  • setting up automated monitoring and reporting, and providing ongoing monitoring of adverse events
  • testing it to ensure it’s fully functional before deployment
  • setting up a maintenance schedule to ensure your batteries are tested at appropriate intervals.

If you don’t currently have a UPS, or the one you have is more than three years old; you really should give us a call.

Image designed by Dooder / Freepik

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