Data Center Backup Generator

Data CenterWhether or not we live in the area, we have all heard about Superstorm Sandy and it’s devastating effects on the East Coast. The hurricane turned superstorm ravaged areas of New Jersey, New York, Virginia and New England. The superstorm destroyed many homes, buildings and neighborhoods, leaving millions without power for days and weeks. This storm also effected many data centers and by extension, their customers. Many data centers experienced down time for anywhere from minutes to hours to days, which was very costly. A few data centers managed to avoid downtime all together because they had proper plans in place as well as sufficient backup power supply. Natural disasters can occur anywhere and there is no way for us to predict where the next disaster will occur. By properly preparing in advance with a backup generator for your data center, you can avoid costly downtime and continue to service the clients that rely on you.
Being at ground zero of a natural disaster can be a very scary thing. The last thing you want to be dealing with is trying to get out in the middle of the disaster to try and fix a major problem in your data center, such as downtime, that could have been avoided with proper preparation and planning. When a power outage is experienced in a data center, data loads can be switched over to backup generators until regular power returns and is stable enough to support your data center. When trying to prepare for an unforeseeable event like a natural disaster, data centers need to include generators in their plans and also consider hosting data in multiple locations that are not likely to be effected by the same disaster. As we saw with Superstorm Sandy, sometimes generators fail or there may be difficulty obtaining fuel to keep your generator running for extended lengths of time. The point is, multiple backup plans need to be in place to be fully prepared. According to the Huffington Post, “Experts say failures at data centers can have widespread impact across the Internet, depending on how many customers the data center serves. Still, most companies, particularly smaller startups, don’t back up their virtual infrastructure in multiple places.” Data centers need to have well rounded disaster plans should something unforeseen occur. While it may be costly to have backup generators and to test them regularly to ensure they are functioning properly, the cost of an extended downtime, like many experienced in Superstorm Sandy, will be far more costly.
Having a backup generator for your data center is a best practice that all data centers should employ. Having extended downtime for some companies could effectively put the company at risk of going out of business and if nothing else, could cost a lot of money. We cannot predict when natural disasters will occur or who they will affect. With proper backup power, such as a generator, and a plan in place, data centers can remain functioning properly.

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