Protect Your Company From The Next Polar Vortex

February 11, 2019

By Rich Tehrani - Group Editor-in-Chief, TMC

The Midwest of the United States is very used to cold weather, so there should be no surprises from utility companies or power distribution grids, right? 

Wrong!  When parts of the country are colder than Mars, it is time to pay special attention to how your organization will function in such extreme weather.  That applies, in particular, to how your business will deal with power outages.  Can your servers and other equipment function when it is -50 degrees outside and the power is out?

Do you have a plan in place?  More importantly, if you made it through this extreme weather, have you considered what you should do to be ready for the next incident?  To give you a sense of how bad things were a week or so ago, there were outages in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, among others.  These are areas which should be able to cope with the coldest of the cold weather, yet, this obviously wasn’t the case.

This means that, if the power generation systems in these areas aren’t as prepared as we thought, companies in these and other states that could witness natural disasters should be prepared.

Preparation includes ensuring systems are backed up.  Other considerations are a cloud mirror that allows workers to be productive – even if a local data center is not working.  Other thoughts are a generator, battery backup systems and SD-WAN to ensure multiple broadband connections are available – even if one provider becomes unavailable.

Outages are costly.  They can lead to secondary financial losses, such as customer defection, and can cause immediate loss to productivity as well as an inability to take customer orders.

Garter says the cost to a company per day of an outage can be as high as $300,000 per hour – but that obviously varies based on the business and how functional the company is during an outage.  Are there certain times of year where more business is done such as around the holidays?  Imagine an outage hitting during peak demand – what could it do to your business at that moment and into the future?

Now – having (hopefully) survived the extreme weather – is a good time to take stock of your business, processes, systems and data.  Make a plan, implement it and sleep better at night knowing you are better prepared for the next vortex, earthquake, storm or other cause of an outage.

Edited by Erik Linask

Power Your campus

Featured Whitepapers

Security & Power: The Critical Role of Power Protection for Security

This White Paper provides security users and installers with valuable information about the importance of power protection for security equipment.

Saving Time & Money with Remote Power Management

This White Paper provides statistics and information about the cost of downtime related to remote equipment, and how organizations can benefit from including remote power management products (IP-addressable PDUs) in their power protection strategy.

Powering Your Disaster Planning

The white paper describes key components of a comprehensive plan to prevent businesses and other organizations from suffering severe consequences as a result of a power outage.

Featured Technotes

What is 3-phase Power?

This installment of the TechNotes series takes you through the basics of single, dual, and 3-phase power, giving you the knowledge to decide which type of power is best for your needs.

Endeavor: Added Runtime vs. Added Cost

This TechNotes paper looks at the relationship between added cost and added runtime when including XL battery packs with Minuteman Endeavor 1kVA, 2kVA, & 3kVA UPSs.