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Power Outages

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This page describes how the systems at the various Informatics sites will react to power outages.

Informatics Forum

The Informatics Forum has two separate UPS systems. One, the server room UPS (which is actually a linked pair) covers only the basement server rooms, including the self-managed server room, and the other, the building UPS, covers most of the network equipment in the IT closets and most of the floorboxes, and hence desks. Wall sockets are generally not covered by either UPS system.

The expected on-battery run-time for the building UPS is of the order of several hours. However, the on-battery run-time for the server room UPS system can be as low as 30 minutes. This is not really long enough to allow us to find out the expected duration of the outage, and so Computing staff will generally start to shut down servers immediately, based on their criticality, to preserve power for essential machines for as long as possible.

We strongly recommend that you immediately save your work in the event of a power outage; and if you do then decide to carry on working, that you continue to save your work frequently.

Outside normal working hours, managed servers will shut themselves down automatically as the UPS batteries run down. Most will restart once power is restored. However, to preserve data integrity, some are set up so as not to restart automatically, and in these cases Computing staff will restart them manually when it is safe to do so.

Appleton Tower

There is one central UPS system which covers the Appleton Tower main server room, and in addition there is a backup generator. Therefore unless there is a particularly long outage we would not expect our servers in Appleton Tower to go down.

The technicians' workshop is not covered by any backup power provision.

College Server Room (JCMB, Kings Buildings)

We have small local UPSes in all of our racks in the College Server Room, but these are expect to provide power only long enough for clean automatic shutdowns to take place. In the event of a power outage at JCMB our servers would start to shut down essentially immediately.

Further Information

Our network monitoring site has a link to UPS status information.

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