Businesses Need To Leverage On UPS Technology To Counter Power Blackouts

By Soko Directory Team / Published April 27, 2023 | 11:35 am




KEY POINTS

If the servers in a data center are without power for even just a few seconds, it could lead to hours or sometimes days of downtime – a single hour of which can cost businesses more than KES45 million– and in some cases up to KES743 million.




KEY TAKEAWAYS


It’s vital to choose a UPS that meets an organization’s power management needs, especially in the current environment where the potential for blackouts is growing. Not only is there an increasing demand for energy, but factors such as the current geopolitical situation, extreme atmospheric phenomena caused by climate change, and the shift away from fossil fuels to less stable renewable energy sources mean that problems in the global energy system will be felt by businesses everywhere.


In November 2022, Kenya experienced two partial and national blackouts across Nairobi, Mt. Kenya, and Coast regions. With a system average interruption duration of 10.63 hours, this inevitably affected business operations, attracting significant business losses. And with the country progressively undergoing industrialization and digital transformation, energy efficiency becomes a critical element of business operations. This is more so for infrastructural technology and systems that require consistent energy uptime.

For instance, If the servers in a data center are without power for even just a few seconds, it could lead to hours or sometimes days of downtime – a single hour of which can cost businesses more than KES45 million– and in some cases up to KES743 million.

That said, these problems aren’t limited to larger organizations. Regardless of its size, a company’s PCs, servers, and network are just as critical to its business as a data center is to a large enterprise. Not only can downtime be costly in terms of a loss of productivity, reputation, and sales, but there will be inevitable delays in rebooting equipment, restoring corrupt files, and re-running any processes that were interrupted. Often, there can be imperceptible damage to circuits and other components which, if left unchecked, can lead to premature equipment failure, and lost data.

Many companies will rely on a generator to protect their valuable electronic and electrical equipment against power failure. But a generator by itself won’t be enough. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS), though, will guarantee that the equipment continues to run until the generator kicks in, which can often take several minutes. For this reason alone, a UPS can be considered a sound power protection strategy that provides cost-effective insurance against the impact of potential outages.

Protecting power

A UPS protects an organization’s IT equipment and other electrical loads from problems such as outages that interrupt electrical supply, performing three basic functions.

It will prevent damage to hardware typically caused by surges and spikes in power. Unlike surge protectors, which do nothing to improve the quality of power feeding a company’s equipment, many UPS models will continually condition incoming power as well.

Crucially, a UPS will also prevent data loss and corruption. Without a UPS, data held on a device that’s subjected to a hard system can be corrupted or, worse, lost entirely. In conjunction with power management software, however, a UPS can facilitate a graceful system shutdown and, in virtual environments, can initiate the migration of virtual machines to a backup site or cloud.

Furthermore, it will provide ongoing availability for networks and other applications while preventing downtime. Some UPSs can provide enough battery runtime to ride through brief power outages, other can provide hours of runtime, enough for extended outages.

The right solution

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a UPS. Several factors must be taken into consideration when determining which UPS best suits an organization’s specific needs.

A company’s power environment is important, for example. A three-phase UPS can deliver more electrical power than a single-phase and is typically used in industrial and business settings, whereas single-phase UPS systems are used for everyday equipment with lower power requirements such as laptops, lighting, and televisions. Having identified whether the UPS needs to be single or three-phase, the VA or watt rating of a company’s power loads further narrows the selection. In single-phase deployments especially, it often makes sense to choose a UPS that exceeds current power requirements but allows for future growth.

Organizations should determine their runtime requirements, too, as this can significantly affect the cost of the solution. And they should consider how much space they’re willing to designate to their UPS, and where they plan to install it. This will help them establish whether their environment is better suited to a tower or rackmount model, although some UPSs have a two-in-one form factor, meaning they can be deployed in either formation.

Possible future expansion should also be considered at this point. For cost-conscious or budget-constrained organizations, for instance, a UPS with inherent scalability will often deliver the best long-term value, allowing them to increase capacity without the need to purchase additional hardware.

And, of course, manageability is essential. While a UPS will protect the attached load during an outage, power management software will – at the very least – ensure that all work-in-progress is saved and that electronic equipment is gracefully shut down in the event the outage exceeds the UPS’s battery runtime. Additional monitoring and management capabilities include the logging and notification of power events, integration into virtual and cloud platforms, and remote monitoring of a UPS by service personnel from its manufacturer.

Peace of mind

It’s vital to choose a UPS that meets an organization’s power management needs, especially in the current environment where the potential for blackouts is growing. Not only is there an increasing demand for energy, but factors such as the current geopolitical situation, extreme atmospheric phenomena caused by climate change, and the shift away from fossil fuels to less stable renewable energy sources mean that problems in the global energy system will be felt by businesses everywhere.

In short, by enabling an organization’s systems to run until regular power supplies are restored, a UPS can offer the peace of mind which comes with knowing that, during an outage, its employees can carry on working, no data will be lost, and business will continue as usual.

The author is Parag Mendiratta – Regional Manager Eastern Africa, Eaton Electric Ltd




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

View other posts by Soko Directory Team


More Articles From This Author








Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2024
  • January 2024 (238)
  • February 2024 (227)
  • March 2024 (190)
  • April 2024 (133)
  • May 2024 (157)
  • June 2024 (87)
  • 2023
  • January 2023 (182)
  • February 2023 (203)
  • March 2023 (322)
  • April 2023 (298)
  • May 2023 (268)
  • June 2023 (214)
  • July 2023 (212)
  • August 2023 (257)
  • September 2023 (237)
  • October 2023 (266)
  • November 2023 (286)
  • December 2023 (177)
  • 2022
  • January 2022 (293)
  • February 2022 (329)
  • March 2022 (358)
  • April 2022 (292)
  • May 2022 (271)
  • June 2022 (232)
  • July 2022 (278)
  • August 2022 (253)
  • September 2022 (246)
  • October 2022 (196)
  • November 2022 (232)
  • December 2022 (167)
  • 2021
  • January 2021 (182)
  • February 2021 (227)
  • March 2021 (325)
  • April 2021 (259)
  • May 2021 (285)
  • June 2021 (272)
  • July 2021 (277)
  • August 2021 (232)
  • September 2021 (271)
  • October 2021 (305)
  • November 2021 (364)
  • December 2021 (249)
  • 2020
  • January 2020 (272)
  • February 2020 (310)
  • March 2020 (390)
  • April 2020 (321)
  • May 2020 (335)
  • June 2020 (327)
  • July 2020 (333)
  • August 2020 (276)
  • September 2020 (214)
  • October 2020 (233)
  • November 2020 (242)
  • December 2020 (187)
  • 2019
  • January 2019 (251)
  • February 2019 (215)
  • March 2019 (283)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (269)
  • June 2019 (249)
  • July 2019 (335)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (313)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (318)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (213)
  • March 2018 (275)
  • April 2018 (223)
  • May 2018 (235)
  • June 2018 (176)
  • July 2018 (256)
  • August 2018 (247)
  • September 2018 (255)
  • October 2018 (282)
  • November 2018 (282)
  • December 2018 (184)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (194)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (189)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (164)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (189)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (247)
  • September 2016 (233)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (164)
  • April 2015 (107)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (119)
  • July 2015 (145)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (186)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (173)
  • December 2015 (205)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950