How To Ensure Your Business Survives Brownouts And Blackouts

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In today’s modern economy, much of what we produce is through the computer. To protect that data, we may press the save button every 15 seconds. However, if an organization doesn’t have an uninterrupted power supply backing up vital areas, that constant saving may be for nothing.

Over 45% of complete data loss happens during a power outage. This may occur in several different ways. A computer may be left on overnight, only to experience a major power issue in the middle of the night. The user may come back to their computer in the morning only to see the machine at the login screen and not with their vital data they worked on yesterday. Another way this may happen is that the computer did not shut down properly and the hard drive becomes corrupted. This means that not only was yesterday’s data lost, but potentially all the data is lost. Backing up may not be enough either, as even backups can be corrupted from power issues.

What is even scarier is that 43% of places that go through massive data loss never
fully resume operation. Worse yet, about 90% of the companies that go through massive
data loss go out of business within just a couple years. The best option available is to buy an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) from a reputable company, such as Toshiba (find them at attach a USB cable from the battery backup to the computer. Often times UPS equipment will come with software that will allow the computer and battery backup to work together. This allows the battery backup to warn the computer of an impending power issue before the problem fully manifests. Furthermore, some battery backup software will even allow a shutdown command to be sent should the blackout last more than a few minutes. These types of battery backups help not just for power outages, but power brownouts as well. These power events are where the power turns off and on in quick succession. This can cause a spike in voltage, which can fry certain equipment that is not being protected.

If a battery backup is out of the allotted price range, a power strip may also be a worthy option. However, one of the big differences between a power strip and a battery backup is life span. A battery backup will monitor its lifespan and will warn the user when a problem occurs. A power strip, which usually has a shorter lifespan, will not warn the user. This may lead the end user to believe they are protected from power problems when they are, in fact, not protected.

Many UPS or battery backup systems are fairly inexpensive. Consumer grade UPS equipment normally starts at around $50, but can reach up to several hundred dollars for the higher endunits. A word of warning: buy new when getting a UPS. Having to replace the battery in a UPS is a major cost and pain, so starting with the maximum life possible is usually the best way to start.