Outages, Vol. I: Power

Bryan Smith
Published

In the world of data centers, there are three common causes of outages: power failure, loss of connectivity and human error. No matter the cause, it’s common knowledge that unplanned data center outages result in immense costs to unprepared businesses, including:

  • Brand and reputation suffers
  • Legal and regulatory ramifications
  • Equipment damage
  • Lost confidence among stakeholders
  • Negative impact on productivity
  • Loss of mission critical data
  • Loss of business
  • Loss of direct revenue

What causes power failure?

  • Storms/weather—downed power lines and/or lightning
  • Car accidents—knocking down or damaging power lines
  • Utility companies—grid power switches
  • External service equipment failure—wires and devices that feed the building could fail
  • Internal service equipment failure – wires, devices and equipment that support the data center could fail

Any business running an internal data center must also pay for and attend to power supply. Thus, businesses running internal data centers are also subject to power failure as a result of storms, car accidents, utility companies or service equipment failure. This means that having power redundancy is paramount. Each additional layer of power protection has an exponential increase in cost.

One of the best advantages to utilizing a reputable colocation provider is not having to worry about power reliability—it’s included in the services. Outages are far less likely because of built-in redundancies, including dual power feeds (A and B sides) that step down from the A-buss and B-buss the whole way to the secure cabinet rack, or equipment providing the service, multiple generators and batteries. If a commercial power issue arises, the redundancies in place prevent any adverse impact. At Expedient Data Centers, we consider our diesel generators to be our main and most reliable source of power—power supplied by utility companies is viewed as a convenience. This allows customers to rest assured that they’ll be up and running 24x7x365.

Bryan Smith serves as Chief Strategy Officer at Expedient and brings more than 21 years of experience in the Telecommunications and Technology industries to his role. He oversees strategic growth planning and business development for Expedient. Bryan was one of the initial employees of Expedient in 2001 and has been instrumental in identifying expansion/acquisition opportunities within the Pittsburgh, Boston, Columbus, and Memphis markets.

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