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Power your data center to weather the storm

In 2020, as firefighters worked furiously to shut off a raging forest fire in California, a few miles away, scientists rushed to shut down a supercomputer, the 13th most powerful in the world.

According to scientists at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), this was not the first time the supercomputer, ‘Cori’, was facing the wrath of climate change.

While Cori survived unharmed, the supercomputer stands testament to the fact that data centers around the world are at the mercy of climate change. Extreme weather conditions can harm data centers and threaten the integrity of the infrastructure. Flooding, lightning storms, heat waves, or as in this case, forest fires, can take down operations for weeks. Data centers therefore require contingency plans to keep them from being caught off-guard.  

Ensuring your data center facility is fully prepared will help minimize future downtime, cut huge costs, and mitigate reputational damage. So, here’s how to get started.

To begin with, let’s get that risk assessment going.

To design a severe weather contingency plan, first, analyze your facility’s risk potential in terms of infrastructure. Critical utilities such as internet connectivity, power supply, and so on can be affected by the weather. Ensure your risk assessment is up to par.

Now, time to create a contingency plan.

Make a checklist of precautions necessary to protect the facility from various types of weather emergencies including staff availability to monitor and maintain the data center in an emergency. Test and adjust your contingency plan regularly to create an effective preventative plan. Check your rooftop equipment as this is often missed.

Do not ignore the importance of scheduled maintenance and updates.

This way, you know what’s up and running and what isn’t. Test your backup power systems and generators regularly.

Now, comes the importance of investing in the right kind of power.

First, uninterruptible power supply.

When it comes to preventing downtime, nothing is more important than an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that can keep your data center going no matter what. A UPS can automatically provide power when your regular power supply is interrupted or fluctuating outside of safe levels.

Second, power monitoring and distribution.

Power monitoring is important to maximize uptime, increase capacity and reduce costs. Power monitoring provides transparency into energy usage and the overall efficiency of data center operations. When it comes to power distribution units or PDUs, you need to choose one that is Flexible (does your unit cover the spectrum of power distribution types including the various circuit configurations), Adaptable (does your PDU support the dynamic data center environment), and Accurate (how close it is to telling you the actual amount of power consumed).

Data center power monitoring units can be a powerful tool if used correctly. Select the right power monitoring system for your facilities’ current and future needs especially in the face of weather emergencies. Check out Hardy Racks’ impressive power distribution units, which serve the varying needs of small, mid, and large-sized servers. Contact us today to learn more.

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