Power is the source for all computer operations today. Without power, computers would not be able to run forcing a business to a grinding halt.
Unfortunately, power quality is deteriorating rather than improving to the point where damage to hardware and software is sustained from the quality of the power rather than from a power outage. The myth that a UPS is the ultimate power protection method is only true to a certain extend and depends for a great deal on the technology deployed. Besides this, most power disturbances within a data centre or telecom room are caused by the equipment itself. New power supplies often used in today's equipment is based on Switch Mode instead of the traditional linear mode used years ago.
Switch mode power supplies have the advantage of being small, efficient and having a high level of voltage variation tolerance. As with every plus there is also a minus….
Switch Mode power supplies draw high peak currents at high frequencies causing current and voltage disturbances to its upstream supply. When using multiple equipments on a single power layout, which is very common in data centers, the problem is compounded. This can result in issues which are often blamed on hardware and software such as random reboots and system hangs, spurious characters and slow network performance, higher then normal failure rates on particularly network equipment, network/system cards and hard disks.
Other issues such as imbalance, high harmonics and other factors often lead to unacceptable levels of Normal Mode and Common Mode Noise which are considered to be the most damaging factors for today's equipment.
The Power Quality Audit (PQA) is providing an in-depth analysis of the power quality. The measurements and evaluation will be based on international norms for computer equipment such as IEEE519 and CBEMA and other applicable standards.
The measurements include, but are not limited to: