Brett Springall, managing director of Security Central, says his company has seen three power outages in the last year, yet has suffered “no downtime whatsoever.” The reason? A sound backup plan that includes not only backup generators, but also uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, both of which the company tests regularly.
Testing is a key and, I suspect, often overlooked aspect of any power backup strategy – but one that Security Central follows religiously. The company has two backup generators and tests them every week.
“We run them on full load for an hour,” Springall says. “It tests all the generator transfer switches and the UPS system itself.”
Uptime is important for Security Central because one of its main services is providing monitoring for commercial and residential alarm systems. If its data center goes down, so does its monitoring service – putting customers at risk.
The company’s main facility in North Carolina has three computer rooms, one of which houses APC by Schneider Electric Symmetra PX UPS, which the company has been using for about 3 years. Purchased as part of a major expansion on its monitoring center, the Symmetra PX provides backup power for some 20 server racks and about 180 workstations.
“The Symmetra provides very reliable, solid power to all of our critical equipment,” Springall says.
That’s been the case during not only actual power outages but also each weekly test the company runs for its generators. When it cuts utility power during the tests, it takes about 15 seconds for the generators to kick in, during which time all the IT equipment is running on backup power provided by the Symmetra PX units.
They haven’t missed a beat. “Over the last 3 years that we’ve had Symmetra our power has been 100%” in terms of uptime, he notes. “It’s very reliable, no downtime whatsoever.”
I met Springall in the Schneider Electric booth at the recent Interop 2014 event in Las Vegas. He was good enough to submit to a short video interview, so you can see for yourself what he has to say about Symmetra PX UPSs. Don’t miss his closing line: “We’re very secure in the knowledge that APC is going to provide 100% uptime for us.”