In today’s digital age, the risk of an emergency shutdown for businesses is growing greater by the day. Is your data center prepared to handle such an emergency? Should the power go out – either due to a natural disaster or something else – what plan do you have in place to conserve energy and save precious battery power? You may not realize it, but IT process automation may be just the tool you need to be proactive and prepared ahead of time. Here’s how.
You’ve probably already heard the term “EPO”, short for emergency power off button. This is essentially the “big red button” that is in place to shut down all operations within the data center in the event of an emergency or disaster. The problem with this concept is that it essentially equates to an “all or nothing” approach. When activated, the EPO button will cut power to everything in an instant. If this happens in error, or worse – as an act of deliberate sabotage, the results could be incredibly costly.
What if, instead of setting your system up for complete shutdown in emergency situations, you were able to automate a sequence of processes that would shut down specific servers according to internal policies and priorities when power is limited? That way, those systems that are most critical to the business can continue to operate as needed, while other, less critical functions are shutdown to preserve battery or generator usage.
With IT process automation, you can plan ahead for a potential disasters by determining precisely which systems should remain up and running and which ones can comfortably be turned off in a predetermined order. When activated, the designated workflow will be initiated automatically, allowing those managing the situation to focus on other important matters, like getting things back up and running again as quickly as possible. This process is especially helpful in preventing file corruption or data loss.
The process of initiating an automated emergency shutdown workflow is similar to traditional EPOs in that it can be put into action with just one click. The difference, of course, is that because the workflow has been developed ahead of time, that one click sets into motion whatever series of events you have programmed it to do. Rather than shutting down the entire data center, IT process automation gives you the control to keep your most critical systems up for as long as necessary.
IT process automation can be used to handle an emergency shutdown from start to finish. A workflow would be created ahead of time that would include a series of predetermined steps ordering which systems to be shut down, and in what order. Once established and in place, the automated workflow would simply need to be initiated by the user in charge of handling emergency situations. Once activated, the system shutdown would begin and would continue on until the situation has been resolved. Then, it’s simply a matter of reactivating all systems to full capacity again.
This type of strategy helps to better manage a power outage, as well as reduce the risks associated with having a traditional EPO, since only those systems deemed to be less important would shut down if the workflow is triggered – either accidentally or deliberately. The most critical systems will remain up and running, greatly mitigating the potential damages of a total shutdown.