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The Importance of Backing Up Your Backup

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Loss of Power

Data center downtime is one of the biggest fears of any data center manager.  Data centers can experience downtime for a number of reasons, some within control and some completely outside of control.  For instance, any poor weather ranging from a heavy storm to a natural disaster could potentially knock the power out in the area in which the data center resides.  No matter what the source of downtime is in a data center, one thing is certain, data centers must have a backup in plan.  But, this is not news.  Every good data center has backup.  The next question is – is that enough?  The answer is a resounding no.  To ensure that data center information and functionality is protected it is critical that there is a backup for the backup in place.  Is this redundant?  Yes.  But ultimately, it could save money, jobs and ultimately, the entire business altogether.  Data Center Knowledge points out just how costly downtime is for a data center and, by extension, a business, “Unplanned data center outages are expensive, and the cost of downtime is rising, according to a new study. The average cost per minute of unplanned downtime is now $7,900, up a staggering 41 percent from $5,600 per minute in 2010, according to a survey from the Ponemon Institute, which was sponsored by Emerson Network Power. The two organizations first partnered in 2010 to calculate costs associated with downtime.”

When you evaluate a data center, its power and capacity needs, and endeavor to create true redundancy in backup power supply you have to ensure that the redundancy is continuous.  If it is not, major problems could arise.  When creating the right system for your data center you have to try to anticipate future growth and needs.  What worked yesterday for data centers no longer works for today.  It is a continuously changing world and, for this reason, it is also important to do regular audits of your backup system to ensure true redundancy has been achieved and is still functioning as you move forward.  The key power components of a data center include the backup generator, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), internal power supplies, power distribution unit (PDU) and much more.  A fully redundant power supply will have adequate amounts of power supply to completely support the data center and all of its components with no single points of failure.  Should a power outage occur, a data center will remain completely functional with this redundant backup power system in place.  Not all data centers need this elaborate of a backup for their backup in place but, if the environment is running a mission critical project this type of backup is absolutely necessary.  Backing up the backup may seem redundant, and it is, to save data centers from frustration, loss of time and significant loss of money.



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