Unexpected power outages can harm the business productivity resulting in lost revenue and time, and inability to serve clients. On the other hand, planned power outages are a great opportunity to test your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity (DRBC) plan in action and mitigate the effects on unexpected power outages. For 5NINES this means a well-rehearsed crisis response plan based on over 15 years of experience of dealing with various natural and man-made scenarios.
5NINES is committed to keeping our Data Center, Colocation, Internet and Hosting clients running and online 24/7/365. Follow along as we put our incident response plan through its paces for a 12-hour scheduled power outage that occurred on April 10, 2021. We’ve also developed a Top 5 list of tips to help small and medium-sized businesses have a better defense against unplanned power outages.
- Notify and ensure clear line of communication with vendor partners.
When an emergency occurs, communication is the number one priority. Contacting your facility electrician, property owner, and other people who can help you successfully prepare and manage the power outage should be the first step in the development of a crisis communication plan. If you haven’t managed power outages before you should consult with your facility electrician who knows the entire electrical system for your facility to help you bring the power back.
- Make sure your generator fuel tank is full and you have additional fuel coming if needed.
The regulations regarding disaster recoveries dictate that we cannot rely on natural gas being piped constantly. That happened in 2019 when MG&E cut off its gas source due to the facility fire leaving many businesses in uncertainty and no electricity.
- Schedule regular generator tests.
Most power outages are unplanned, and you cannot expect to contact your service providers beforehand. Running your generator at least 30 minutes, each month will prevent your diesel fuel from breaking down which is different in composition from the diesel fuel in traffic vehicles. 5NINES conducts monthly and biannual full tank test runs of our generators.
- Consider having a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Source).
The UPS provides a backup battery source when the utility power is interrupted. When the transfer switch is activated, there is a period of time the generator takes to power up. In that time the UPS battery backup takes over.
- Consider the cost of redundancy for in-house generators vs hosting with a local provider.
The cost of a single generator including the material and labor can go up to $200,000. When two generators are preferred, the cost of maintaining and operating them would be astronomical compared to the cost of renting a cabinet within the 5NINES Data Center. This is one of the reasons why many business owners decide to locate their equipment inside our data center as opposed to in-house storage. If the generator is not capable to power the whole facility, you might need to consider building your own. Also, you might consider just storing your critical server at one of the cabinets in our data center which significantly reduces the cost of having redundant power supply and data backup.