Heat Wave in March Sheds Light on Importance of Power Protection

April 02, 2012

By Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin) - Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

The soaring temperatures that the country experienced two weeks ago did more than just cause a few of us to wish our apartments would turn the heat off once and for all; they also resulted in an outage for the leading repository of historic weather data since so many people were flocking to the Web to Google (News - Alert) “Why is it so hot in March?”

The National Climatic Data Center, part of the NOAA network of government weather data sites, experienced performance problems in recent days, according to Dr. Jeff Masters of Wunderground, after unseasonably warm weather caused meteorologist and weather followers to enlist the help of the World Wide Web to see if there has been precedent for this type of weather.

“The extremes section of the their website has been down since last Friday, since their software has been unable to handle both the huge number of records being set and the huge demand from people wanting to see these records,” said Masters, the director of meteorology at Wunderground.com, on his popular WunderBlog. “The web site came back on-line this morning with software re-engineered to handle the load, but only with data through Sunday.”

As anyone will argue, a bout of downtime is not only frustrating but it can be extremely troubling for businesses, even if it lasts only a few seconds. In fact, recent research from the Electric Power Research Institute has found that, on average, a one second power outage costs a business $1,477, and the tab for a one hour outage comes to $7,795. Overall, this costs the U.S. economy between $104 and $164 billion annually.

Yet another survey, from Stratus Technologies (News - Alert) and ITIC Corporation, found that more than half of the businesses (52 percent) do not know the potential financial impact of IT downtime and the impact it can have on their bottom line and reputation.

The survey also revealed that although 48 percent of companies currently calculate the cost of IT downtime, most of them still drastically underestimate the actual costs of outages, the ensuing remediation efforts, customer dissatisfaction and the increased potential of litigation. For example, 35 percent of survey respondents believe that one-hour of downtime for their most business critical applications will cost their company $25,000 or less, which shows they are underestimating the adverse impact that IT downtime can have on their entire businesses.

But downtime can exist and without warning and the only way to combat it is by purchasing power protection units. Minuteman UPS/Para Systems (News - Alert), a leading provider of power protection units, speaks to this fact in a recent white paper it published titled, “Powering Your Business Disaster Planning.” The paper delineates the key components of an all encompassing power protection plan – one which proves failproof during short-term power surges or even extended outages. 

Edited by Rich Steeves