Power outages, they happen and they never happen at a convenient time. What will you do when your business loses power? Will you sit and wait hoping that your server will come back up? Or do you have a plan to enact and secure your data, company, and future?
In my years in the Information Technology industry I have seen power outages caused by weather, accidents, water main breaks, and animals. It is the most common disaster event I have worked with. They will happen to you. Are you prepared?
What should you do to be prepared?
Figure out the steps you need to take to preserve your servers, network gear, and workstations.
- Have a plan. A full disaster plan may have a section for power outages that last days, such as getting a generator or relocating. This really isn't feasible for small business. But having a checklist or plan what to do during a power outage will help.
- Walk through the plan BEFORE the power goes out. Test it verbally. Check each step to make sure it makes sense and is feasible.
- Follow the plan during the next outage. Try to take notes what really didn't work and what worked well.
How long can you be without power? What is the financial loss with the power outages lasting 15 minutes, an hour, or a day? Knowing this will help you determine how fast you need power back on get buy in for any investments into technology improvements to address this.
Have your power company’s phone number and your account number so you can call and report the outage and find out how long it will be. This will help in your decisions process. Some power companies have websites reporting outage information. And yes, they sometimes are set up for smart phone interfaces.
Have an idea who needs to be alerted that the power went out and when to alert them. These are the owners, clients, employees, and service providers. If you rent your space, have the contact information for them as well. Make sure to include cell phones if possible as they may be without power as well.
Have flashlights. Your smart phone flashlight will only last so long.
Have your plan handy so you don’t stumble around in the dark trying finding it.
Keep critical systems on an Uninterruptable power supply (UPS). At the very least you should have your devices on surge protectors.
BACKUP YOU’RE DATA. You may lose the data being worked on that was not saved or backed up since the last back up job. But if you lose your server, or just a couple of hard drives without a well thought out back schedule. You will lose your company. Having a backup solution will help mitigate this risk.
Hopefully some of these ideas help prepare you for your next power outage. By being prepared, you are investing in your future.
Frankly, keeping up with growth has presented more work than our small team was prepared for — with traffic now climbing more than500M pageviews each month. But we are determined and focused on bringing our infrastructure well ahead of capacity as quickly as possible. We’ve nearly quadrupled our engineering team this month alone, and continue to distribute and enhance our architecture to be more resilient to failures like today’s.
We can’t apologize enough, nor can we thank you enough for putting up with these growing pains. We know how impossibly frustrating it is to see your work offline. But please always know that we truly care about your work as much as you do, and we have an incredibly capable team working incredibly hard to take good care of it.
You could smell the internet tears lasting nearly 24 hours yesterday. If Twitter is what most consider a social forum for posting small 140 character messages of your breakfast, then Tumblr is the forum that lets you write an essay on that breakfast.
Tumblr is an easy to use blogging platform that lets you set-up a website in seconds. You can now write your little heart out about cute adorable kittens, or funny pictures of Kim Jong-il looking at things. Sadly, things came to an abrupt end thanks to an error in Tumblr's cluster of servers. The entire network of blogs were down for 24 hours. Anger and hysteria ensued. Some even wrote open letters.
But, what are we owed from a free service? Anything?
Tumblr is a free blogging service and super simple to use. Do we have a right to get angry if we host a site with them and things are down for an entire day? That could be business lost if your goal is to make monies from your page. On the other end of the spectrum, if you're just posting picture of Kim Jong-il, I'm sure you wouldn't really care that much.
Do hipsters have a right to get upset with Tumblr's lackadaisical communication during the outage, or should they just get along with their lives and possibly shower?
Perhaps Tumblr should have contacted Trigon about the virtualization of their servers. We're able to work with out clients to minimize any downtime, whether it be an off-site disaster recovery center or bringing sandwiches during a server rebuild.