Your Network’s Field Goal Kicker

Michael Anderson IT Best Practices

With football season in high gear, I thought it would be fitting to use a football analogy for this month’s post. So, here goes:

If your network (servers, switches, firewall, etc.) is a football team, your UPS (uninterruptable power supply) is the field goal kicker. He’s not the star of the team, like the quarterback; he’s not involved in most of the action, but when he fails to do his job, EVERYONE notices.

Your network, and especially your servers, performs best with consistent, predictable power. Unfortunately, that’s not always available. Utility power can become susceptible to:

1. Voltage spikes or sustained overvoltage (power bumps)
2. Momentary or sustained reductions in input voltage (brown outs/black outs)
3. Noise on the line (usually from nearby equipment)
4. Frequency instability

Without proper protective measures, and a correct UPS solution, these issues can have significant impact on your technical equipment.

A UPS is designed to provide power to your network equipment, and initiate a proper server shutdown in the event of a power interruption. A proper shutdown is critical to prevent data corruption, protect internal server components, and ensure a proper restart.

In many small to medium sized businesses, we see UPS devices that have been put in place and ignored. Then, when they are counted on to perform, they fail. Why?

1. The UPS is improperly sized and insufficient for the power load being placed on it.
2. The battery is losing its charge and cannot keep the server(s) running long enough to complete the shutdown process.
3. The management software for the UPS has not been installed, or is incorrectly configured, and is not prepared to manage the shutdown.

So – is your UPS ready to be called upon like a field goal kicker kicking the game winner? Or is it just that dusty box sitting the corner? Maybe it’s time to check.

If you need help, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.