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You have the most sophisticated electrical equipment. You’re following many of the best practices of protection. Yet a host of electrical issues, from faulty wiring to turbulent grid activity, can undermine best-laid plans for safeguarding I.T. systems and peripherals, resulting in time-consuming maintenance and costly failures.
Keep in mind six important steps to provide an added shield of security for your company’s critical technology and data.
1. Confirm Electricity Levels
Most computer equipment is designed to use 120 volts of AC power supplied at 60 Hertz. Electrical current varies depending on characteristics of the connected equipment. Incorrect voltage levels adversely impact almost all electronic equipment, consequently leading to premature failures and data loss.
When new systems are deployed, especially as facilities expand and adjacent sites grow, first confirm that the local power grid provides proper electrical baselines. Next, plan internal wiring by considering usage within the facility, as well as equipment distance from the main distribution panel. For long wire runs, use oversized conductors. Run a dedicated set of LINE, NEUTRAL, and GROUND from the panel to any outlet where sensitive technology will be located.
After installation of equipment, use a multimeter to measure the voltage at sensitive outlets while under the required load. If baselines vary 15% or more, contact the local utility company, licensed electrical contractor, or facilities management to correct the errors.
2. Verify Supply Circuits Are Grounded
If electrical outlets aren’t properly grounded, protection devices plugged into them will not adequately shield valuable hardware. In addition, these ground wires are the path for faults inside the equipment preventing dangerous shock hazards. Ground wiring is also responsible for diverting most power surges. When compromised, fluctuations don’t have an effective suppression path, delivering a blow to the performance of connected electronic equipment.
3. Prevent Circuit Overload
Make certain your installation’s power requirements have a sufficient number of circuits.
Connecting a large number of electronic devices to a single circuit can cause local voltage sags. Splitting outlets with UPS and surge devices increases power demands placed on their connected circuit, potentially triggering power failures, variations to the incoming current, and fire hazards as a circuit exceeds safe operating ranges.
4. Maintain Proper Operating Temperatures
Electricity usage generates substantial heat that should properly dissipate for the ideal performance of all electronic equipment.
When performing routine maintenance, confirm that exhaust fans are working properly and are unobstructed for maximum ventilation. Vents and fans should be kept open and free of debris and at a distance from office furniture, supplies, and other equipment, whether working or idle.
5. Replace Damaged & Faulty UPS Systems
Significant electrical surges and lightning strikes will even damage UPS and surge protectors, necessitating UPS replacement and increasingly supplementing with added intelligent electronics protection. Batteries internal to UPS systems do wear out and require replacement. Check the recommendations provided by your UPS system for battery replacement.
If the unit’s telecommunications mechanism appears to be the only harmed component after following a thorough assessment, the device has nonetheless received a charge substantial enough to leave equipment vulnerable to future incidents and should be replaced.
When purchasing a UPS, identify models that protect connected equipment from lightning strikes entering the network via data lines. During installation, make sure the data line is connected to the protective device’s input.
6. Test Power Supplies
Even when circuits have been tested, proper grounding confirmed, and UPS deployed, minor fluctuations in a system’s erratic power supply can inflict harm on the delicate components of computers and servers, hindering optimal functionality. When unexplained or intermittent reboots occur or other temperamental actions, check the power supply’s electrical output with a multimeter to ensure it’s working properly. A more comprehensive data center protection platform is likely needed.