Munsoft's Five Point Plan for Reliable Electricity for Information Systems

Munsoft would like to make our clients aware of the dangers of unreliable electricity concerning their computer and systems infrastructure. Computer information systems such as Munsoft's financial management system require reliable power to function ideally and without risks.

The cause of interruptions in reliability ranges natural disasters such as severe storms and lightning, civil construction works and load-shedding in South Africa. What is common amongst such causes is that in almost all instances, they are not planned.

The impact of typical power-related risks is hardware damage and data loss caused by such power fluctuations or stoppages. These can lead to severe and extended downtime of key systems or even data integrity-related issues. 

We recommend a generator and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for your server room or data centre both with sufficient electrical capacity. Such redundant systems need to be tested once a week and regularly serviced to ensure stable operations in your organisation. The same would apply to your emergency or standby facilities.

To measure is to know, so we recommend 24x7x365 environmental monitoring of your ICT environment. Defined alerts and standby procedures will significantly aid with emergency responses, and these should include shutdown and start-up procedures.

Information systems should always be protected with backups, preferably on and offsite. Periodic testing of backups is non-negotiable and should be performed in conjunction with a data selection list review. An ICT disaster recovery plan should provide the necessary structure and guidance to the organisation prior, during and post-emergency events.

Our recommendations

  1. Protect your hardware with redundant electrical infrastructure (UPS and generators) with sufficient capacity. Put maintenance and tests plans in place.
  2. Ensure you have backups of your information systems. Preferably offsite, check and test your backups regularly.
  3. Ensure your servers have valid hardware warranties to ensure you have vital and timely computer components readily available in the event of a failure. A typical server's life span is five years, so beyond that, you may be at risk with components.
  4. Put a disaster recovery plan (DRP) and infrastructure in place and test the organisations' strategy and infrastructure regularly with your systems. Document your progress and remedy failures during this testing, iterate.
  5. Put monitoring of the infrastructure in your ICT environment, with alerts with relevant response plans.

We trust these recommendations can significantly aid your organisation in its planning for such electrical outage events.

If you need assistance in your ICT electrical planning, contact Munsoft, we are here to assist with advice and solutions.

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