Getting Smart With Data Disasters

By: Bill Walter

We’ve all been there. You’re in the midst of crafting an important document for that Monday morning meeting and — blip — the power goes out. All that work, lost. Next step, you scramble your thoughts together from the past hour of work you forgot to save. Thanks to auto-save and battery protection, you’ve only lost an extra hour of work and only a few strands of hair you’ve ripped out in frustration.

What if your work never came back? Or even worse, what if all your data on your computer was corrupt and possibly useless? That’s what it’s like to experience a server failure due to power irregularity information corruption to the company database.

Catastrophe Is Just Around the Corner

A common reason for data loss is from power failure or power surges. A power failure for a server is the unexpected loss of electrical power to the main server rack. Without the use of battery backup units or generators, an unexpected power failure can be catastrophic.

Power surges can be trickier than electrical failures. A power surge is a short-term spike of power delivered to the server unit. A substantial surge or several minor surges can cause permanent damage to an unprotected server or network system.

The truth is that if a server does not have the correct power backup, a company is at a high risk of losing their data in a power failure. This data, which includes file storage, email capabilities, domain names and other encrypted information, can become corrupt and potentially irrecoverable in these circumstances.

Aside from the hair-loss inducing stress of data failure, it can be expensive to have downtime in your server processes. In a study conducted by Vertiv and the Ponemon Institute, researchers found that the average cost for an unplanned server downtime incident in FY 2013 averaged at $7,908 per minute. 

There are quite a few factors that went into these calculations, including the cost of productivity loss, equipment damage, root-cause detection, legal and regulatory repercussions, revenue loss and long-term repercussions on reputation and trust among key stakeholders. That’s right, downtime doesn’t just cause harm to server hardware. It damages a business’s reputation.

Enter the UPS

Considering the potential financial costs and damages to reputation, it’s vital to have a backup plan. Enter the UPS, the unsung hero in a network disaster. UPS, a.k.a. the Uninterruptible Power Supply, is a mechanism that links into a server and acts as a short term back up protection plan to initiate a graceful shut down in the event of a power irregularity.

Power irregularity short-stops data and network processes. When these processes are short-stopped, the files can be recoded as corrupt and unusable. It’s never a guarantee that files can be recovered. A graceful shut down is the ideal method to avoid file corruption.

The UPS is the catalyst of the graceful shut down in the face of disaster. It preserves power long enough for the server processes to finish up, back up and power off. It also protects the network from damaging power surges. Studies show that unprotected power surges can cause damage to server hardware as well. The UPS protects hardware and software from the constant threat of power surges and power failure.

Because the UPS must be constantly running, it’s crucial to make sure they are up to date. If a server is unplugged and instantly shuts down, then the UPS is not working up to standard. These units need to be tested annually and replaced every four to five years to ensure the units are operating correctly.

Need Help?

Gross Mendelsohn’s Technology Solution Group can help you protect your data with the right backup solutions. If you’re interested in learning more about battery backup plans, contact us here to chat with one of our network engineers, or call 410.685.5512.

Published April 20, 2017

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