How to Protect Your Network Against a Power Outage

How to Protect Your Network against Power Outages

Remember That It’s All About Power

Keep the nature of electricity and power systems in mind when you start planning your network power systems, including outage protection. We recommend that you have battery or generator backups for your network nodes to limit the harm and loss that can come from a standard power outage.

Having these in place can allow you to keep your network up while local utilities get things back on track. In the event of a significant outage, such as one caused by a hurricane or other natural disaster, on-site backups give your network as much life as possible. For MNOs, this means you’re supporting emergency services in the areas that need it most.

Always choose equipment that is shielded from the harm of a power surge and then combine it with additional power options, like the MGE EXB15 backup power supply. The more significant your backup capabilities, the more you can limit how a power outage affects your network.

Monitor for Root Causes

When an outage strikes, you need on-demand and continuous diagnostic tools designed to determine where your outage started and how fast or how far it spread. Learn why you lost power before you do any work on the network. Every outage comes with its own risk. Knowing the cause means understanding the risks, and that allows you to respond safely and limit the damage.

For example, downed power lines genuinely mean your interiors are safe, while a fire that causes sprinklers to deploy — and potentially create pools of water where electricity is present — mean you should implement very different steps to address the issue. In some areas where your site uses compressed natural gas, leak detecting may shut down local equipment, and doing something as simple as hitting the lights can ignite the gas in the air.

Network power systems and other equipment must have a reliable system that delivers information back to your central office to be able to respond best to a power outage.

Look Out for Lightning

Lightning strikes are a top concern for our customers. Telecommunications links are notoriously good at allowing lightning strike-based electrical spikes to travel right to your network equipment and discharge on models and telephone lines. We’ve all seen these destroy motherboards and line cards as well as other hardware.

Protect against lightning first, then look at the other risks you may face in your area. Sometimes this can be water and flood potentials, high winds and downed trees or busy intersections where cars strike telephone poles a bit more often than usual.

Safeguard Your Equipment: How to Protect Against a Power Outage

One of the best ways to protect yourself against power outage damage is to have equipment that is correctly installed and reviewed. Every maintenance program should include site inspections that verify core safety elements, such as making sure circuits are appropriately grounded.

A word of warning: don’t just go by the lights on your UPS. Lights are a great way to spot-check health, but proper maintenance and reviews need to involve circuit testing. Thankfully, this is often as simple as plugging in a tester to a nearby outlet.

Protecting network power systems and other equipment also includes always using a surge protector and never overloading your circuits. For your server room, you need to monitor power levels, ensure site electricity requirements are met and that you have cooling wherever required.

Worldwide Supply can help your network team review systems and adequately calculate your UPS capacity and create a maintenance schedule that’s right for you. Plus, we’ll help you review power supplies and understand proper operating temperatures that can vary for equipment based on load and location.

Follow the Right Steps

Every network is different, so your steps to turning the power back on and getting your equipment going again will be unique. That said, there are some core steps that we recommend to get things back up and running. Here they are, and be sure to pay attention to the first one:

  1. If it’s on, turn it off. Switch everything off or unplug it to protect components and ensure they follow the proper power-up sequence.
  2. Review the fuses at your impacted locations. Replace any that need it.
  3. Ensure that everything has been off for at least a minute and then turn on your breakers.
  4. Plug everything back into its UPS and plug the UPS into the wall.
  5. Turn on your equipment in the right order. In most cases, this is managed switches followed by routers and then your modems.

Get Proactive With Worldwide Supply

Looking to learn more or make sure your network is safe? Contact Worldwide Supply to create your power plan, understand how a power outage does and does not affect your system, and get the equipment you need to minimize harm.

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