By: David Sewell, President, Sewelltech, Inc

October 01, 2015 10:32 am EDT
Power TransmissionENLARGE
Photo: David Sewell

We live in an Information Age where countless data is created, transmitted, and stored. We also live in an Electronics Age where numerous electric-powered machines aid in these tasks.

The reality of living in this era of technological innovation is that the electric power required to run these machines can’t keep up (at least not yet) with the consistent quality that these machines require. In many locations, electric generation, transmission and distribution grids haven't evolved at the same pace as the computer and communications equipment that they support. While the electric power infrastructure that was built years ago was sufficient for powering manufactured goods factories, it is now struggling to adapt to the needs that sensitive electronics have for continuous, quality-grade electric power.

What Is a Power Event?

A 'Power Event' includes electric sags, surges, noise, spikes and blackouts. What really happens to connected devices when they experience a power anomaly? A lightning strike is a frequent and good example to examine, although it is just one of countless problems that can impact your equipment.

Imagine that lightning has just struck a nearby transformer. If the surge is powerful enough, it will travel instantaneously through any nearby wiring (AC, network, serial, phone lines and more) with the electrical equivalent force of a tidal wave. For PC users, the surge can travel into your computer via your AC outlet or phone lines. The first casualty is usually a modem or motherboard. Chips go next, and then data is lost.

The Costs of Downtime

In the Information Age, data is quite valuable and often is irreplacable. It is an essential keystone to the livelihood of businesses across the globe, whether in the form of e-mail transactions, information being delivered via a web site, correspondence, spreadsheets or any number of business application data.

Our dependency on the Internet emphasizes that availability equals viability. If companies do not have reliable solutions for keeping their electronic equipment operating, they lose money.

Tally Up the Potential Damage

Typical users may not be aware of the frequency with which power problems hit their computers because of the protection already built into individual PCs. However, one in four PCs will fall prey to power events that are outside-the-bounds of this built in protection. For example, PCs typically can't handle power surges and outages themselves. What then follows is damage to vital electronic equipment.

The Solution

According to a study by IBM, more than 120 disturbances hit a typical computer in a typical month! Some of these disturbances have imperceptible effects. Others cause data loss and expensive repairs. Fortunately, full protection with UPS devices has become affordable for every computer user. Comprehensive solutions exist for all types of workstations. UPS protection is available, affordable, and for any serious workstation user, mandatory.

1. Develop a Plan

Determine how much and what kind of protection you need.

2. Don’t Procrastinate

Don’t wait for disaster to strike before acting. Far too many people start a plan only after disaster has struck - when data has been lost or expensive equipment has been damaged. Develop your plan now!

3. Determine Your Risk and Act

Determine your exposure and invest in technology to mitigate your risks:

  • UPS protection for servers
  • UPS protection for workstations
  • UPS protection for network and telecom hardware
  • Data line surge protectors

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s). Core Compass’s Terms Of Use applies.

About the author

David Sewell is the President and owner of Sewelltech, Inc., an Apple Value Added Reseller based in Dallas, Texas. David founded Sewelltech in 1994 after graduating the Colorado Institute of Art with a degree in graphic arts and photography where his technical skills lead to being engaged to manage the computer labs. David can be contacted by phone at 214-845-8198 or through the Contact Form on Sewelltech's website.

power eventssurge protection
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