Sunday, July 10, 2011

Think beyond for 100% power back up plan

I was reading a discussion on Spiceworks Community; someone was sharing his experience when power goes out on a switch
"Having power go out in your server room is serious business. We woke up to a serious guy who owns and operates the server room who wasn't very happy the power went out. IT had our head on a chopping block." 
Don't you think, it is very frustrating when power goes out on a switch and all the machines that are wired to it lose connectivity? All of those applications no longer runs- it doesn't matter if that machines are still up.
UPS's are a main way to ensure utility power failure doesn't bring your IT infrastructure to a halt. You have to think beyond for 100% back up plan.
Most of the companies rely on N+1 configuration, but it is also not an easy way to secure your power back up strategy.  Certainly it provides UPS fault tolerance level.
Now the question is what is "N"? UPS Design configurations are often described by nomenclatures using the letter "N" in a calculation stream. For instance, a parallel redundant system may also be called an N+1 design, or a system plus system design may be referred to as 2N.  "N" can simply be defined as the "need" of the critical load.  In other words, it is the power capacity required to feed the protected equipment.
The N+1 configuration can be Isolated Redundant, Parallel Redundant for Distributed Redundant system or System plus System Redundant.
Choosing the right configuration base on the following consideration:
  • Cost / Impact of downtime
  • Risk Tolerance
  • Availability requirements
  • Types of loads (single vs. dual-corded)
  • Budget
But N+1 configuration also require some ancillary cost which ramp up the setup cost for N+ configuration.
I also experienced the same pressure of budget in my previous organization, to mitigate the cost; I have designed one system called "Interlocking Penal" which requires no ancillary cost for N+ configuration.
Designed of Interlocking Penal
It is a penal which consist some relay  switchs, penal connected with hooter.
System working
Main power source (State electricity / DG ) cut --- Hooter started – (it is the signal to the maintenance staff that load shifted to alternative power source (UPS).
If UPS got alternative power supply properly ( DG / State electricity ) the hooter stop.
If there are some problems in alternative power source and the backup time of dedicated UPS for some particular equipment / floor/ area/ output also exhausting the interlocking penal can make the arrangement to shift the load to another UPS which is connected to Interlocking Penal.
  • It is very economic which require no redundant component cost.
  • It create flexibility of N+ configuration, it does not required that modules must be of the same design, same manufacturer, same rating, same technology and configuration.
  • Higher operating efficiencies because all single unit is being utilized 100%
  • The hardware arrangement is conceptually simple, and cost effective
  • When main power source go off (State electricity supply), the hooter started, if the load shift to alternative power source properly the hooter stops


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