A great many companies pay small fortunes for UPS/battery systems, fancy switchgear and standby generators if the belief that the power supply to their server rooms are completely bomb proof.
However, how many of these companies run real live tests on a regular basis to make sure it all works. In my experience, not many, as the IT department has all kinds of problems when it comes to making time for maintenance.
If the answers to any of the questions below are negative then the risk of failure has not been minimised:-
- Has your UPS had a winter health check?
- Has the condition of your UPS batteries been checked?
- In the case of power failure have you confirmed the UPS will seamlessly change and run on the batteries?
- Has your diesel generator had a winter health check?
- Has your fuel storage and transfer system been checked?
- Have you physically failed the mains to check the generator starts and that the auto changeover panel works?
With budgets stretched to the limit it is easy to have blind faith in a UPS and batteries which are never looked at and a generator which is started now and again, but unless the whole system is regularly checked for seamless operation, then your power supply is not secure.
IT will always find some excuse to stop maintenance and system testing but the consequences of a UPS failure, or batteries failure, or the generator failing to start, or the switchover panel not working properly could be catastrophic to them if it hits at exactly the right time.
We are now into the most dangerous part of the year when it comes to grid failure. Make sure your company has done everything possible to minimise the risk of an insecure power supply.