Eaton Identifies Five Best Practices To Protect IT Infrastructure Against Seasonal Power Problems

Date: August 17, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. … In the midst of hurricane season, diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation is sharing best practices to protect Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and critical business systems from power disturbances. Many businesses overlook the risks because it is easy to take IT and power systems for granted. Eaton offers five practical tips any business can use to reduce the risks and enhance the reliability of IT systems.

  1. Know your risks : Power outages are often assumed to be rare and unlikely events but severe weather is a major threat to power systems; three of the top five most significant outages reported in 2008 were caused by Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Gustav and tropical storm Hanna. These storms affected approximately five million people according to Eaton’s Blackout Tracker ( ), an award-winning online tool that provides a snapshot of reported power outages across North America. With this interactive site, visitors can see the cause, duration and number of people affected by a blackout and view causes per state or region.
  2. Consider your investments : Even a small server configuration and local area network (LAN) represents an investment of tens of thousands of dollars. To that, add applications, management systems and critical databases, and it is clear that significant company assets depend on power that is not always dependable. Eaton’s Blackout Tracker Annual Report cataloged more than 2,000 U.S. power outages in 2008.
  3. Power problems are equal-opportunity threats : Computers, servers and networks are just as critical to a small business as a data center is to a large enterprise. In addition to severe weather, equipment failures, lightning, copper thieves, even wayward snakes can cause power disruptions that have the potential to bring business to a halt. Look beyond generators and surge suppressors and consider an uninterruptible power system (UPS).
  4. Treat any IT equipment location as a data center : In small to medium-sized businesses the rack environment may be the data center, but when planning this environment it is still important to consider the same logistics as in a large data center: access control, thermal management, power protection, power distribution, cable management, flexibility and monitoring.
  5. Determine the level of power protection needed : Consider what type of UPS, best deployment strategy and how much UPS capacity is required for your business. Assess how much battery power you need to shut down systems or switch to backup generators in case of an emergency. If an outage extends past the limits of backup systems, power management software can orchestrate the selective, sequential shutdown of loads to extend available battery backup time.

A comprehensive power protection plan should not only address power failure, but also other problems such as power sags and surges, line noise and frequency variation. Eaton offers a variety of devices that can protect IT equipment against the inherent unreliability of utility power. UPSs and generators represent the most common power protection devices to protect data and equipment.

To access the Eaton Blackout Tracker or request a copy of the 2008 annual report, visit . Eaton will continue to track all named storms throughout 2009. To learn about Eaton’s power quality products, visit .

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader in power distribution, power quality, control and industrial automation products and services. Eaton’s global electrical product lines, including Cutler-Hammer®, Moeller®, Powerware®, Holec®, MEM®, Santak®, and MGE Office Protection Systems™ provide customer-driven PowerChain Management®  solutions to serve the power system needs of the data center, industrial, institutional, government, utility, commercial, residential, and OEM markets worldwide.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2008 sales of $15.4 billion. Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit .

Mike DeCamp
(919) 870-3264