The recent 6.0-magnitude earthquake in California led to a number of fixed electronic devices owing to power surges. In many cases, these power events overwhelmed surge protectors, according to Patrick Thibodeau at Network World. “Electric grid damage caused by an earthquake may be a particularly brutal test of surge protectors,” because these protectors tend to be designed for short bursts, such as those from lightning strikes. Slower changes in power levels can be more difficult for simple surge protection to handle, whereas surge protection with battery backup (uninterruptible power supplies, or UPSs) can be more helpful.
The earthquake may have caused more damage to consumer and business PCs than to data centers, but this damage illustrates the need to protect equipment against unforeseen disasters. Thunderstorms and other weather events may provide some advanced warning (thunder in the distance), but earthquakes can strike at any moment, leaving users no time to power down their equipment and unplug it. Turning off a data center is seldom an option, so these facilities implement power protection, but individual and business users should likewise consider whether they have taken adequate steps to protect their own tiny “data centers.”
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