Monday, July 06, 2009

Power protection is beyond PCs – Expert

EXPERT in data solution, Mr. Carl Kleynhans, has said power protection at this era of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), should go beyond Personal Computers (PCs), more so in Nigeria, where power is not getting any better.

He said, the same power that threatens computers and peripherals such as sags, blackouts, spikes, surges, and noise, are also menacing other equipment in both offices or homes across the country.

Hardware protection, he said, is a minimal requirement for all equipment in today’s office.

Mr. Kleynhans, who is the regional director, Africa, Indian Ocean Islands and South Caribbean at APC by Schneider Electric, said consumers of ICT tools in a country like Nigeria, must realize protection do not stop with mere taken care of hardware.

“Copiers, printers and scanners usually have digital features, meaning that the potential for lost data is very real. These machines can have jobs lined up in memory. When the power goes out, it can be impossible to retrieve them,” Kleynhans said.

He said that by the same token, a home that is struck by lightning could also expect damage to any number of electrical appliances, from microwaves, garage door openers and motion detectors through to Digital Video Display (DVD) players, home theatre systems and satellite dishes.

In order to protect this expensive or mission-critical equipment, and to justify the essence of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), he said that at the office, even though these machines could have a high inrush of current and demand a lot of a power from the UPS, the few minutes of uptime achieved during a power outage could be enough to get those lined up jobs and orders through the machine smoothly.

Underscoring the fact that to thoroughly safeguard all home electronic equipment, UPS devices could be used with additional power protection devices such as surge protectors, voltage regulators and line conditioners, adding that some UPS devices also have inbuilt surge protection features.

“Power outages, even momentary dips, may be enough to shut down or restart a computer not having the benefits of a UPS. Such events can, depending on what the computer is doing at the time, cause problems such as data loss or worse. Many home users of computers do keep critical files on their computers, including financial records and other important documents, so, a UPS will provide measure of protection against that type of loss,” he advised.

Explaining that if an outage is longer than the UPS battery time (five to 10 minutes), the machine could, at least, be shut down in a controlled manner before any damage is done.

“Most likely, power will be restored before the UPS runs out of battery power, so there is a slim chance of experiencing downtime. In the long run, a UPS can save users in terms of both productivity and costly outlays,” he pointed out.

Champion Infotel recalls that recently, Kleynhans had outlined what to lookout for in making a choice a UPS especially in Nigeria.

He noted in a country like Nigeria, where power problems are common, companies require specific power protection features to help ensure uninterrupted computer availability.

Based on this, he advocated that organisations and computer users generally select the best UPS to protect themselves from the damage to hardware and lost data.


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