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How to Use SNMP Power Monitoring to Prevent Damages

It's obvious that losing commercial power to a critical part of your infrastructure is going to cost you. Almost all businesses rely on having a reliable power source to keep their infrastructure up and running. Losing that power source means that infrastructures will be inoperable. An inoperable infrastructure could result in a multitude of problems. These problems are most likely network downtime, lost revenue, and angry customers who are ready to take their business elsewhere. To help mitigate power failures or outages, you need a power monitoring system.

SNMP power monitoring
Power monitoring is essential in many different industries - don't leave your network vulnerable.

A power monitoring system will keep track of the power that keeps your infrastructure running. It is able to tell you when that power has dropped below or surged above a set threshold. It is also able to notify the correct individuals when a problem has occurred. With a power monitoring system, there is no guessing or no waiting for detailed information to get to you. This means that problems can be immediately dealt with as they occur.

Aside from the many unfavorable problems that can occur when the power goes out. Power outages also have long-term damages that can hit you even when power has been restored. Many of these damages can be prevented by using the right SNMP power monitoring system.

Here are 3 common hidden damages caused by power outages:

  1. Overheating caused by A/C shutdown
    A surprising number of telecom companies forget about air conditioning during a power outage. They'll have backup power for their generators and other equipment, but not for cooling systems. Without backup A/C for the site it will eventually overheat, causing a thermal shutdown. This increases the recovery time from a power outage because equipment can't be restarted until the temperature returns to normal.
  2. Wasted time driving to and from remote sites
    You're wasting money any time you put a well-paid technician in a truck and send him or her to a remote site. You can save money by handling many of these issues through remote access and control (through terminal servers and control relays). SNMP power monitoring equipment can grant you remote control of your equipment at your sites. Using built-in terminal server functionality and control relays, you can configure, power cycle, and control external devices at your site. You'll never have to send a technician to a remote site again if you can control your equipment from the comfort of your desk.
  3. Loss of remote site visibility
    What good is your SNMP power monitoring equipment during an outage if it doesn't have a reliable source of backup power? You can't afford to lose visibility of your sites during power outages. Without backup power, you won't be able to.
    • Control equipment that is necessary to restoring power to the remote site (such as a generator).
    • Receive alarm notifications about temperature, fire, water, intrusion, etc.
    • Check the status of the backup power supply.
    That's why it's absolutely essential to have an adequate backup for your mission-critical remote sites. During a power outage is exactly when you need your monitoring equipment the most.

A SNMP power monitoring solution will ensure that you always have a clear view of your infrastructure and its power source.

Without SNMP Monitoring, Damages Can Add Up

What these hidden damages add up to is unnecessary costs. They hit you the hardest on your bottom line. The financial effect of these unnecessary costs can be put into four different categories:

  1. Lost revenue.
  2. Repair of damaged equipment.
  3. Replacement of equipment damaged beyond repair.
  4. Labor costs of restoring service.

You don't have to suffer any of these unnecessary costs of a power outage. You can have the satisfaction of knowing you're protecting yourself.

Case Study: Nova Scotia Power

Let's take a look to see how Nova Scotia Power used equipment to monitor power, and other environmental conditions (such as temperature, humidity, airflow, etc), at their remote sites to cut costs and improve productivity.

Nova Scotia Power provides nearly 97 percent of the electricity for Nova Scotia and has done so for over 80 years. This all includes nearly 500,000 consumers. It's clear a reliable network is an absolute must for the Nova Scotia power technicians.

They deployed a full-size master station to coordinate many remote terminal units (RTUs). These RTUs provided the monitoring capabilities for the network. With these devices, Nova Scotia Power was able to monitor power and all of the important environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, smoke, water, motion, etc). These RTUs also provided another critical function: remote access and control through terminal servers and control relays.

Nova Scotia Power no longer needed to send well-paid technicians 30, 45, even 60 miles to remote sites just to cycle power or reconfigure some settings. They were able to do these things with any web browser right from their desk. Since they no longer needed to spend so much time driving between remote sites, the technicians were able to devote their time to other projects. This reduced costs and improved productivity - a win-win.

Your company can see the same benefits as Nova Scotia Power. Implementing a monitoring system is just like making a wise investment - you invest a little upfront, then sit back and reap the rewards of your savvy decisions later.

Click here for the full Nova Scotia Power case study.

How To Implement SNMP Power Monitoring

Power monitoring is a serious problem - and it requires a serious solution. The first step to implementing your own SNMP power monitoring system is to do your research. Not all monitoring systems are created equal - that's why it's important to make the right choice.

This White Paper is a practical step-by-step guide on how to implement an SNMP monitoring solution in your business.