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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 one central Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system system which provides power to all of the basement server rooms, including both of the self-managed server rooms. This UPS is rated at 200 kVA and, if fully-loaded, its expected run-time on batteries (or 'autonomy') is about 30 minutes. There is no backup generator.

For a mains power outage which is anything other than transitory, 30 minutes is not really long enough to allow us to find out the expected duration of the outage. Therefore, in the event of a mains power outage within normal working hours, 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.

Outside normal working hours, managed servers will shut themselves down automatically as the UPS batteries finally 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.

Note that there is no UPS cover for the rest of the Informatics Forum: in the event of an external power outage, power to all offices (and all network closets) will immediately be lost.

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.

Last reviewed: 
08/12/2020

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