As more and more businesses depend on their data centers for continued operation, outages can cost thousands of dollars for every minute that the center is offline. Even though the number and duration of power outages has decreased significantly over the recent years, businesses continue to look for ways to minimize, if not completely eliminate, losses caused by forced downtime. While some circumstances are truly beyond anyone’s control and outages can happen despite your best efforts, their number can, indeed, be decreased by taking preventative measures.
In many cases of accidental outage, the cause was traced back to human error. Any company working on minimizing downtime is well advised to examine the main types of human error involved and take steps to minimize such occurrences. Important measures in error prevention include implementing design changes that make it easier to catch and stop mistakes before they result in power failure.
One type of error occurs when PDU cables are disconnected by accident. This can happen when the cables are already loose and an inadvertent touch disconnects them completely. One design feature that helps cables stay connected securely is a locking power cord that cannot accidentally come loose and disconnect. Investing in upgrading your PDU cables can prevent unwanted downtime and end up saving tens of thousands of dollars.
Color-coding PDU components and cables also helps workers keep track of all power feeds and avoid disconnecting the wrong cable. This is a simple change that will help prevent outages without involving major disruption and equipment replacement.
Other precautions concern planning the configuration of data center equipment in a way that will distribute power loads efficiently, instead of running the risk of overloading a particular line and experiencing an outage. One way to cut down on power inefficiencies and uneven distribution is to supply the same higher voltage power to each rack. In the long run, this approach reduces power supply issues.
Overheating equipment is another cause of power outages. Data center equipment should be arranged efficiently and provided with adequate cooling mechanisms that can cool down the facility evenly. Installing and monitoring cooling equipment can help avert a significant portion of outages.
Companies concerned with losing large amounts of money to forced downtime in their data centers can take action to substantially cut down on the number of outages. While not all circumstances are controllable and outages will still happen, smart design and equipment choices can go a long way towards minimizing outages that happen due to human error or equipment malfunction.