Redundant Power: How much is enough?

Power is a major concern for virtually every industry – impacting the availability of your systems and your ability to do business.  You don’t want to risk revenues, customer relationships or even the viability of your business to a failed component or to a power line brought down by a storm or construction backhoe.

But how much redundancy is enough?  Some data centers offer N+1 redundancy, with N representing a single line of power delivery systems necessary to support your IT infrastructure or to deliver cloud-based services to your business – from the utility and generator, through to switching, a UPS solution and power distribution.  The +1 part of the equation indicates that at least one additional power delivery component is available in case a unit fails.

There is a weakness in the N+1 approach, though.  Despite the backup, there will be points where all the modules on site share the same circuitry.  And that circuitry can fail.  In addition, a main power line could be compromised – taking your systems down with it.

If you have an IT intensive business, you may need a greater level of redundancy than N+1. To reduce your risks, look for a data center service provider who offers a 2N approach. These centers have a fully redundant power infrastructure, with two totally independent power paths and feeder lines.  Either path can support your needs, with no single point of failure. There will be a minimum of two pairs of every critical component to ensure uptime and redundancy are maintained – even when power systems are taken offline for industry-recommended maintenance.

Few businesses can handle the cost and complexity of establishing 2N redundancy on their own.  But a trusted data center provider specializing in mission-critical operations will be built from the ground up with 2N redundancy in mind – from power to redundant cooling, fire protection, security and network connectivity.
Before selecting a data center partner, ask about the availability of 2N power to support your mission-critical systems.  You will be fully prepared in the event the unexpected does happen.