According to a recent survey carried out by power management company Eaton, more than 60% of businesses are missing out on important benefits for their IT installations by overlooking the power management software that is supplied at no extra cost with their uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems.
This software, which takes only minutes to install and configure, has been developed specifically to help minimise the risk of data loss – which frequently has serious, costly and far-reaching consequences – in the event of a power failure.
The best power management software integrates seamlessly with the existing environment. This means it needs no additional resources to run and it provides users with a unified user interface from which they can monitor and control every aspect of their IT installation.
Under normal operating conditions, the power management software provides a comprehensive overview of UPS status and condition. This in itself is useful, but the software really comes into its own when there are problems with the mains supply. Then it ensures that, before the runtime of the UPS batteries is reached, all devices supplied by the UPS are powered down in an orderly way that preserves data integrity. If the application requires it, the software can also be configured to disconnect non-essential loads automatically to extend the runtime.
In virtualised environments, the best power management software can even be configured to trigger the migration of virtual machines (VMs) automatically from servers affected by power problems to others where the power quality is good. This means that users of the applications running on the VMs experience no service interruptions. Good power management software also records and stores information about power events, which is invaluable when diagnosing and debugging power problems.
In many cases, no expenditure is necessary to enjoy these benefits, as power management software is invariably bundled with all UPS products from leading suppliers. Yet as we’ve seen, Eaton’s survey shows, almost incredibly, that less than 40% of businesses are currently using this software.
UPS systems are, in effect, business insurance – they insure against the potentially costly consequences of power problems. If the underwriters of a conventional insurance policy offered a free, no-strings-attached upgrade of significant proven value, every business would jump at it. Yet many businesses shun the free upgrade that power management software provides for their UPS systems. Why?
Some UPS users don’t even realise that they have the software. Particularly with smaller UPSs, once they’re connected and powered up, they provide basic protection with no further ado. So it’s easy to assume the CD and on-line resources that came with the UPS contain no more than a copy of the manual and, if the UPS is already working, why worry about them?
Other users know they have access to the software, but have little idea of what is does and, since their UPS is working, little incentive to find out. There’s a great temptation not to fix something that’s working – especially when time is at a premium as it invariably is these days – so the software never even gets looked at.
Finally, there will be those who feel that anything free can’t be worth having, and that it’s certainly not a good idea to clutter servers running critical applications with free software.
These ideas do have some validity, but if you trust your UPS supplier – and, if you don’t, you should be looking for another supplier – you should also trust their software and understand that even though it’s supplied at no extra cost, that certainly doesn’t mean it has no value.
Today’s businesses can’t afford problems; the competitive and financial pressures are simply too great. That’s why they install UPS systems to protect their data. But operating a UPS without installing power management software is like driving a car with no windscreen wipers – you certainly have protection from the downpour, but very soon things become much more difficult than they need to be.
So, if you’re one of the 60% of businesses with no power management software installed, break out that CD or check out the online resources for your UPS and start enjoying better protection and a less stressful life!
Tags: Eaton, Software News, Uninterruptible Power Supply News, Panel Building News, e-lec.org