We live in an digital world, where downtime, outages, and disruptions become newsworthy events; they start trending on Twitter long before any fix or mea culpa makes its way out to the public. Earlier this month, Facebook, Instagram and Microsoft experienced outages that while rectified quickly, still took a toll on the users and businesses that rely on these services.
Facebook’s outage, which occurred on September 3rd was due to some networking issues, while Microsoft’s Azure outage was a direct result of a lightning strike which overloaded its cooling systems and caused its servers to shut down. Now some applications may have still been accessible, but some customers found it a challenge to connect to Microsoft cloud services, including Office 365 and Azure Active Directory.
There’s data out there that tells us these outages are not exceptions, they are becoming more the norm. In fact, the Uptime Institute released their 2018 Global Data Center Survey, which found that 31% of the respondents reported they had experienced a downtime incident or severe service degradation over the course of the past year; that is up from 25% from Uptime’s 2017’s survey.
Here at BTECH, we focus on helping our customers significantly lower or even eliminate unplanned downtime by mitigating the risks posed by their emergency power systems. Specifically, we provide predictive analytics that help our customers protect and manage the batteries that are the foundation of their backup power. And, after just about 30 years dedicated to monitoring and managing batteries- the #1 cause of UPS failures, you can imagine we have some battery advice:
Your quarterly maintenance contract might not be adequate protection against backup battery failure. Have you ever experienced a backup battery failure right after your battery system was serviced? If so, you are not alone. Statistics have shown that the #1 cause of UPS and backup power failures is the battery. What’s more, these failures occur despite regular/scheduled battery maintenance. Simply put, just maintaining your batteries via a maintenance contract is not enough – batteries are inherently unpredictable and can fail in as little as two weeks at any time in their life cycle. Pro Tip: Manage your batteries by using solid measurement data and you will significantly reduce your risk of battery failure, and by significant, we’re talking a near 0% failure rate. Predictive analytics like the kind BTECH delivers can help data center managers anticipate failures before they occur.
A UPS system does monitor batteries, but it only monitors the condition of the batteries at a string level, so your backup system may still be at risk. We say this because a good number of companies often fail to monitor their UPS batteries at all or believe that monitoring at the battery string level is sufficient, when it’s not. Batteries need to be monitored and managed at the individual cell level. UPS monitors do not track and trend individual battery health and therefore cannot pick out the failing or failed battery. Our solution manages the entire backup battery system which includes measuring individual cells during float and discharge cycles. Since our systems are collecting battery data in a holistic way, we can help you prevent unplanned emergency maintenance visits and help extend the life of your battery systems.
Up to 3% of batteries fail during the warranty period. In fact, your backup battery system has the potential to fail at any point in its service life. Since we’ve been at this a while, we have seen failures after the initial discharge acceptance test, failures after one year of service, and after two. And you need a way to pick out the failed cells quickly, so they don’t affect your backup system. Having a battery monitoring solution helps you manage your battery system with predictive analysis based on the measured health of each battery that makes up that system.
At the end of the day, our solutions are designed to get the right data to the right people, so that there is ample time to improve the integrity of a battery system.