Power Outage in Des Moines Stops Government Email, Internet Service

February 24, 2014

  By Frank Griffin, Contributing Writer

The multiple redundant systems that data centers have might seem extreme at times, but the power outage that took place last week at the state office building in the Capitol Complex in Des Moines, Iowa, clearly points out why these precautions are necessary. First of all, the power outage stopped email and Internet services for Iowa government for many hours by shutting down state data servers in the governor's office as well as other departments that are part of the complex. The websites affected by this outage include the state and legislative branches, the governor’s office and other departments. If you’re thinking the state capital should've had a backup generator, you are absolutely right; they did have a generator but it also failed to work.

With that in mind you can now understand the many contingency controls data centers put in place to avoid scenarios such as this. The set of events started at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday with power being restored by 7:30 p.m., with IT equipment following later in the night.

If the data center that stopped working was part of a critical infrastructure such as 911 or other emergency-related services, the result would have been much different.

This event is a perfect case in point as to why essential infrastructure must be protected with multiple redundant systems to ensure continuous service. It is also important to point out this just doesn't apply to businesses or large organizations, as more people use their home as an office and purchase expensive consumer electronics; employing a power protection protocol with the right equipment is very important.

Whether you have a business or you want to protect your home from power surges and outages, the first step is to assess the type of protection that will guarantee your devices will not be harmed. This requires experts that are able to access your power needs based on the configuration you have set up. Minuteman provides the right consultation and products to protect your equipment if any power related issues takes place, which include Battery Backup (UPS) systems, surge protectors, power management products, and power monitoring accessories and software.

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