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The ‘always-on’ enterprise now needs to mitigate the risk of power outages: By Espira

Now, more than ever, organisations need to lean on Managed Service Providers

As organisations move at an unprecedented speed toward the ‘always-on’ enterprise, one thing is now clear — the need for near-constant availability of IT systems, predictable performance, and power efficiency. But according to Espria, which delivers integrated IT services to modern businesses, this winter will prove challenging for many who have not reviewed their existing power supply contracts and SLAs with providers.

The rapid pace of computing innovation has been accompanied by widely distributed physical IT infrastructure comprising of uninterruptible power systems (UPSs), power distribution units (PDUs) and other crucial devices, all of which are highly dependent on power.  This in turn is mission-critical and an often-overlooked layer in IT operations.

Alex Tupman, CEO, Espria, stated, “The mood music is not sounding promising in the UK with rapid increases energy prices due to gas shortages, which when combined with the anticipated cold weather may well lead to organised blackouts for industry and even households.

Under the Government’s latest “reasonable worst-case scenario,” Britain could face an electricity capacity shortfall totalling about a sixth of peak demand, even after emergency coal plants have been fired up.

“Below-average temperatures, combined with reduced electricity imports from Norway and France could lead to the UK triggering emergency measures to conserve gas this January. While the UK Government is now stating that the lights will stay on, there is the very real prospect that we could experience energy blackouts for the first time since the 1970s.  And given we are now a connected, internet-enabled, networked society unlike anything back then, this could be even more disruptive and damaging to individuals, businesses and the broader economy.”

Dave Adamson, Espria’s CTO added, “Power incidents that result in downtime are the worst-case scenario. What’s more disastrous is if critical equipment such as UPSs housed under adverse operating conditions fail. Over time, devices not shut down gracefully could experience a shortened lifespan and may introduce risk of configuration being lost if there are not well-defined change management processes in place.

Service providers, therefore, must have a robust power protection strategy in place. In addition, left unchecked, UPSs designed to protect data and IT equipment such as servers and storage gear from power problems will fail to safeguard downstream hardware devices and may lead to the shutdown of servers.

“And the cost – we cannot forget the cost of power-related downtime.  In one such study in the US from the Ponemon Institute, Cost of Data Center Outage 2016 report, the average cost of that downtime is (the equivalent of) £7,296 a minute.  IT power outages can result in lost revenue and productivity and affect competitiveness.” continued Adamson.

“For the customer, it means peace of mind. By proactively monitoring the distributed UPS architecture across multiple locations, MSPs can help organisations protect critical power systems. For the MSPs and customers alike monitoring brings visibility into power environments and provides data-driven analysis into predictable performance and maintenance issues.

“This is why organisations should turn to MSPs to manage their computing environments. By outsourcing to solution providers, IT decision makers (ITDMs) can gain access to a wide range of expertise for monitoring and maintaining equipment. More importantly, buying in support will enable them to build a highly reliable and stable physical infrastructure layer, eliminate downtime risks and ensure operational efficiency without burdening over-stretched IT teams. With the right service partner, you aren’t just sufficiently future-proofed, but also have the flexibility and expertise to scale for future deployments. And if an organisation isn’t ready to outsource to an MSP, they could still consider taking a monitoring-as-a-service service so they can have access to best of breed observability platforms.”

About Espira

Espria is the confluence of Mode Solutions and eacs (acquired by Mode in June 2022). The newly branded business offers integrated services to modern businesses and enterprises in managed IT and cloud services, communications and document management, supporting and enhancing the digital workspace.

Business Info Magazine & Site is Published by Kingswood Media 2022