How to prepare for power outages, disasters amid uncertain times

posted August 01, 2021 at 06:10 pm
by  Manila Standard
Amid the extreme summer heat felt by Filipinos over the last couple of months, plus the changes in working setups amid the new normal, some parts of Luzon have recently experienced rotational power outages.  

Earlier this month, the National Grid Corporation (NGCP) placed the region’s power grid on ‘red’ and ‘yellow’ alerts as households and enterprises alike were seen to have higher power demands, threatening to outstrip available energy supply. A grid on red alert means that there is not enough power supply to meet the projected energy demand. Meanwhile, a yellow warning means available reserves are thin.  

In most cases, rotational brownouts are necessary to manage the situation, just like what was experienced in some parts of Metro Manila and other provinces in Luzon in the first couple of weeks this June.  

Aside from sudden changes in power demands, organizations of all sizes across the country must also brace and take preventive measures against the impacts of the rainy season. Coincidentally, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) declared the start of the wet season last June 4, citing the passage of Typhoon Dante and widespread rainfalls.  

In addition, the national weather agency also noted that around 20 typhoons develop within or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) every year, causing natural disasters and power outages. 

‘Preparation is Key’ 

With these realities, Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, said that businesses must ensure that they have a good disaster recovery (DR) plan, especially amid these uncertain times.  

“For businesses, power loss due to disasters and the changing power demands can be catastrophic, particularly when they are left unprepared. Having a good DR plan is crucial for businesses in every industry. When systems go offline, companies can lose data and revenue, and it is hard to get those things back once they are gone,” said Jason Lim, country manager of Vertiv Philippines. 

Lim added that amid today’s data-driven world, most organizations rely on technology. In most cases, they use computing hardware housed within data centers to run their day-to-day functions.  

But how can businesses prepare for the worst when disaster strikes so they can deal with it quickly and return to full operation with the most negligible impact on revenue?  

For IT managers, the key is to know the different metrics throughout their facilities, such as temperature, humidity, power usage, and server utilization. These measurements must be taken into consideration when creating a DR plan. 

Temperature and Humidity  

IT managers should precisely determine what temperature they are keeping their facilities at in their disaster recovery plans. It will help employees in charge of checking the readouts from temperature sensors know what to do when, for instance, the server room gets too hot. 

Power surge 

If a company has not installed power distribution technology that includes monitoring and alerts, power surges could occur within the data center. These spurts of high voltage could lead to higher electric bills—or they could take the whole facility offline.  

Power distribution units that include sensor technology provide a comprehensive view of power usage in the data center. With this information, managers can determine the optimum power utilization levels and include these numbers in any incident response or DR plans.  

The Human Element 

Operator error, which occurs when an employee does something wrong within the facility itself, could sometimes cause a power outage due to a lack of documented procedure of what to do  during emergencies. Thus, creating a DR plan to instruct employees on what to do when things go wrong is crucial for managing the computing facility. Aside from ensuring that there is a procedure to follow, investing in monitoring solutions can make a difference in the long run when disaster-proofing the facility. 

UPS, an indispensable component for DR plans 

Vertiv also said that an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) must be part of their backup power systems for their disaster recovery plans. A UPS is an indispensable component in a reliable power infrastructure designed to achieve maximum availability. It can also provide instant emergency power to critical devices through the energy typically stored in a battery. 

It also plays a significant role in protecting today’s distributed IT infrastructure, especially in network edge deployments. They provide power to the critical servers and other electronic components found in computer networks and ensure these systems continue to operate properly even when the primary power source has failed. 

Helping Businesses Prepare for Outages 

Regardless of the specific backup power and DR plan needs, Vertiv aims to support organizations across all sectors with its array of full-featured and cost-effective power solutions. 

For instance, Vertiv’s full-range Leibert UPS, which are future-proof, eco-friendly, and highly efficient, can help facilities, no matter the size, improve uptime smoothly and continuously while bearing in mind the equipment or data centers’ specific requirements. 

Vertiv also brings together cutting-edge solutions to ensure uninterrupted operations, optimal performance, and the scalability of data centers, communication networks, and other critical IT facilities. 

To learn more about how Vertiv supports the continuity of today’s vital business applications, visit Vertiv.com.  

Topics: National Grid Corporation , Vertiv , Philippine Area of Responsibility , PAG-ASA
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