May 07 2019

Uninterruptible Power Supplies Can Insure Higher Education Institutions Keep Running

For complex university IT systems, combining power management solutions and virtualization can ensure reliability while keeping costs down.

When budget constraints meet increased expectations for IT personnel, ensuring continuous uptime can feel like a math problem with no solution. However, educating decision-makers about ever-growing blackout threats — and their potentially devastating consequences — can go a long way toward securing necessary funding for technology.

To align power management needs with budget expectations, IT teams should consult with campus leaders on the potential damages associated with power outages and the return on investment schools can expect from a solid protection solution. 

Over the past decade, Eaton’s Blackout Tracker logged more than 32,000 separate power outages, many of which impacted schools and disrupted studies and services. In 2017 alone, Eaton registered 3,526 outages nationwide, affecting 36.7 million people for a collective 197 days.

With an integrated power management solution designed to reduce downtime and automate management, schools can save both money and time that can be allocated to other needs. 

MORE FROM EDTECH: Check out what causes power outages on higher education campuses.

Power Monitoring Software Expands IT Teams' Capabilities

The complex environments in which campus IT systems operate make it essential to take effective, proactive measures to help protect against unexpected outages that can arise. To defend campus data centers and network infrastructure from the dangers of downtime, uninterruptible power supplies and rack power distribution units can be utilized to provide emergency power and view status in the event of a power failure.

However, to ensure system efficiency and maximize ROI, teams should consider how these solutions will interact with other power management software and systems. 

Power monitoring software can be leveraged in conjunction with power management devices to help IT staff monitor equipment and keep critical IT applications running and preserve data during outages. 

Depending on what type of software is chosen, campus IT teams also have a range of capabilities at their disposal that they can use to implement a robust disaster preparedness strategy. Examples include the ability to view event history, receive real-time status updates on conditions and even automate the resolution processes in the case of a power outage. The system can be set up to initiate the necessary steps to protect important servers and data, even when personnel are not onsite. 

Components at the hardware and software level serve as an important first step to consider in implementing a power management strategy. However, some IT staffs also utilize virtualization infrastructure and must take those systems into consideration, ensuring advanced capabilities are being maximized and used correctly. 

The virtualization platform and the power infrastructure should be able to talk to each other, implementing quick action automatically when a power problem occurs. This functionality must be set up and tested to verify the power protection plan. 

By combining power management solutions with common virtualization management platforms — like those from VMware, Cisco, NetApp, Dell EMC, HPE, and Scale Computing — IT teams can extend the availability of their services. Technicians can also remotely manage physical and virtual servers and power management devices all from a single console. 

Additionally, when looking to deploy a comprehensive power management solution, teams should factor cybersecurity into the equation to keep data protected from unauthorized access. 

As backup systems become more advanced and interconnected with other devices, some power management providers are already taking steps to ensure their products are safe from cyberthreats and offer peace of mind for users. Products certified by standards bodies, such as UL, typically offer the most reassurance for organizations that the connectivity used for data collection will not be compromised. 

MORE FROM EDTECH: See how reliable power can help IT teams facing digital innovation.

Higher Education Institutions Graduate to Power Proficiency

Continuous access to clean, reliable power has become the cornerstone of facilitating modern-day digital learning environments. Now more than ever, IT professionals need quality power protection solutions that do more than simply safeguard equipment and data. While IT personnel may not be able to be in more than one place at a time, they can deploy solutions that will help them consolidate management duties. 

By using an integrated power management solution that aligns hardware and software components, IT staffs can free up time to focus on more important matters — such as teacher training and developing tools to further enhance the learning process. Schools can reallocate the funds saved from avoiding outages and new equipment deployments to other IT vulnerabilities that need attention. 

At the end of the day, with an optimal solution in place, IT managers will have a robust disaster avoidance plan that will help ensure uptime and keep things running smoothly for their campuses, students and faculty.

slavemotion/Getty Images