Five ways to help keep your data center online during the holidays
More Americans are expected to forego the malls again in favor of online shopping
this holiday season. That puts incredible pressure on businesses to avoid computer downtime and the loss of any of the $33 billion Forrester Research expects American consumers to spend online over the next few weeks-not to mention the operational costs
of downtime during this peak period. Is your business ready for the increased
Emerson Network Power, a manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies, batteries,
and accessories, put together five tips to help ensure a happy holiday for you
and your data center. And if the holidays have no impact on your business or
IT systems, these suggestions are just as applicable in advance of any period
of increased IT activity.
1. Perform regular temperature checks
The heat load will rise as your IT systems expand close to capacity and overworked
servers and networking equipment process the next order. Therefore, it's important to perform regular temperature checks (or heed the warnings from the monitoring system that does it for you) to ensure the data center is free of hot spots that could knock out servers. If you add IT equipment to keep up with increased demand, be sure to check your cooling needs as well. If you don't watch the temperature, your system could melt down faster than Frosty in the greenhouse.
2. Test batteries, schedule a UPS checkup
Kids love the great new toy under the tree until they find it requires batteries
that you don't have. Don't get caught in the same predicament in your data center.
Hopefully, you won't need your battery backup, but always plan for the worst.
Test batteries and schedule a UPS checkup to be sure you're prepared in the
event of a power outage. If you haven't invested in battery monitoring to keep
a constant eye on the No. 1 cause of UPS system failure, consider it an early
3. Remember critical systems outside
Everyone leaves cookies for Santa, but what about the reindeer stuck outside
in the cold? Think about your critical systems outside the data center. For
example, telecommunications providers must devote as much planning and attention
to the Outside Plant (OSP) as they do to the central office. Are your cable
and fiber enclosures sufficient for the winter weather? How are you handling
backup power in FTTx architectures? Planning and preparation is just as important
in the OSP.
4. Reduce energy consumption
Sure, all those online transactions keep the black ink flowing in the accounting
department, but they also keep the electric meter humming. You may need more
power during the holiday rush, but you can take steps to curb your energy consumption
without compromising availability. Emerson Network Power recently introduced
"Energy Logic," a roadmap to help reduce energy consumption in your
data center. Follow the 10 steps Energy Logic recommends and you can save more
than 50 percent of your data center energy consumption. Not only does that help
you save on your energy bill, it minimizes critical resource constraints-power,
cooling and space-without compromising availability or flexibility. Fifty percent
of your energy usage is a savings that would look nice under anyone's tree.
5. Prepare for the worst
You can be your own worst enemy by simply failing to prepare for the increased
data center demands that come with the holidays. As always, prepare for the
worst. The key to maintaining continuity is providing adequate power and cooling
to your critical systems that can easily scale to meet growth. You may have
the necessary infrastructure in place, but always run tests and analyze data
to be sure. If not, it's better to find out during a test than during the height
of the online holiday shopping season.