The discipline of disaster recovery applies to many situations, from storm-ravaged coastlines to a power outage in a facility that simply can tolerate the event ― at least, not without an electricity continuity solution in place. A data center is a good example of such a facility.
Electricity Continuity and Data Centers
There’s a good reason why most data centers always have their lights on and servers running: The businesses serve as repositories for backup data. If the customer has trouble accessing data from an in-house data silo, the customer contacts the data center to receive the replicated materials that is stored offsite at the center. If the center is without electricity, that’s unacceptable ― and there’s a good chance the customer will take its business elsewhere.
Different technologies can use keeping a data center powered to all times, from backup generators, to solar panels, to uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs). It’s the latter type of equipment ― UPSs ― that the majority of data centers contain, whether they contain generators and/or solar panels or not.
For UPSs to release their direct current (DC) electricity in the form of alternating current (AC) electricity — the kind you receive from a utility line — power inverters must “invert” the DC to AC, thus allowing computer hardware in data centers to use the emergency energy. UPSs come in many power levels; the kind found in data centers release many hours of uninterrupted power, if not more. When a long power outage proceeds a disaster, that’s what industrial grade UPSs ― and the industrial grade inverters that connect to them ― are made for.
Choosing the Right Power Inverters
If you want a power inverter that is specifically designed for a data center, a NEBS inverter with a Level 2 NEBS certification is the obvious choice ― or is it? As Wikipedia states, NEBS Level 2 inverters are designed to address “equipment operability in a controlled environment (usually data centers)”. The article also notes that, “Because of ambiguity, this level of certification is rarely (if ever) used.”
So, what helps is an ambiguous inverter that’s vaguely designed for data centers? It’s no help at all. To make a NEBS Level 2 inverter work in your center, the inverter must be customized to meet your electricity conduction requirements. Some inverter manufacturers perform customization as a core service. These are the manufacturers you want to engage with when selecting inverters for a disaster recovery plan for a data center.