What Businesses Can Learn from the Death of Google and Exploding Appliances

February 26, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

A weekend storm in Wooroloo, Western Australia, some 35 miles east of Perth, caused widespread damage and a power outage, leaving thousands of customers in the dark; many for more than 24 hours.  For one resident, Lisa Christy, the outage resulted in the death of her Pearscale goldfish named Google (News - Alert), whom she says was mandarin-sized and could be pet on the head.  Google’s companion, Fergal, is expected to recover after Christy added a battery-powered pump to oxygenate the tank, according to the Hills Gazette.

Another nearby resident reported exploding appliances after lighting struck her home.  Wester power was working to repair all damaged infrastructure by Monday afternoon. 

These situations offer insight into how damaging power incidents can be to customers.  Extend similar scenarios to businesses, however, and the results can be just as disastrous.  A day, two, or even more without power may not cause any literal fatalities to businesses, but lack of operational capability can certainly cripple a business when access to data center and communications resources is unavailable.  Furthermore, if those exploding appliances were servers and switches, the downtime and cost of repairs could have a significant impact on a company’s ability to recover. 

Even beyond the cost of hardware and labor, the time to investigate where repairs are required, acquiring replacement equipment, installation, and configuration could take weeks, depending on the nature of the networks.  There’s also the question of restoring connections, applications, and services, along with the hope that any data is recoverable.  All in all, it’s an operational nightmare for business leaders and IT managers and staff.

That’s why the upfront cost of installing a power protection system shouldn’t be ignored.  It’s very easy to balk at the idea of investing in UPS systems, power regulators, power distribution units, and remote management tools, assuming such an incident is highly improbable.  That would be a mistake.

Even though exploding servers and multi-day outages may not be likely, shorter outages and power surges are a regular occurrence and can cause major damage to businesses equipment and cause significant work for IT teams that aren’t prepared.  Power protection, including UPS systems, are designed to eliminate that risk, protecting network equipment and providing, at a minimum, enough standby power to shut down equipment safely and without risk of data loss.

In today’s world, technology investments are the lifelines of business.  While the investment may be difficult to fit into ever-shrinking budgets, the decision to do so can save much more than its cost in the long run.  Power outages are, by nature, unpredictable, but power protection systems add a degree of predictable resiliency to business infrastructure.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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