These won't run your server for long. (Image: mjtmail (tiggy) on Flickr.)
The UK could run out of energy generating capacity in winter 2015, reckons Ofgem, which says as spare generating capacity drops we could see energy prices rise too.
With the average business electricity bill at £2,600, that's not exactly something to look forward to. However, it could be a drop in the ocean compared to the loss in productivity a single blackout could cause.
Losses mount up very quickly when you can't use your computer, speak to customers over the phone or even see to pack orders and send them out. When there's no power, you can't do business.
Traditionally, businesses have planned for power interruptions by plugging their servers into uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). If you suffer a power cut, a UPS will continue supplying power. Chances are you won't be able to work, but you will be able to shut your server down properly, protecting it from damage and hugely reducing the risk of data loss.
If you have a server on your premises, you really should use a UPS. It's that simple. They start from around £100, but you'll need to spend a bit more to get a decent model like the APC Smart-UPS.
But if you want to actually carry on working, you need significantly more juice than a typical UPS will supply. Step forward industrial battery specialist UK Powertech, which has launched a 'compact energy storage device' for smaller businesses and homes.
Called the BlackCurrent, it charges off the mains when the supply is good, then supplies electricity back to your equipment when required. You should be able to continue running computers, servers and critical gear for an hour or two.
The BlackCurrent does come at a price. It starts at £850, and you'll certainly have to spend more if you want to keep your computers and servers going for long.
Is it worth it? That really depends on your company's approach to risk, and how much damage a power outage could cause your business. But if predictions of power cut doom and gloom are in any way accurate, maybe it's worth considering.
Every Friday afternoon we bring you a great business IT tip. From nuggets that make repetitive tasks easier to simple ways to banish business tech annoyances, we’re here to help.
If there’s something you’d like our help with, send an email to [email protected] or just leave a comment on this post. We’ll try and cover it in a future IT Donut tip.
If you shut your laptop lid right now, what happens? Depending on whether your laptop’s plugged into the mains or an external monitor, it may go to sleep, shut down, hibernate or do nothing at all.
But did you know you can set exactly what happens when you shut your laptop lid? If you’re using Windows Vista or Windows 7, it’s easy.
The settings for what happens when you shut your laptop lid can be found in your computer’s power options. To reach them:
The settings in the box that appears let you choose how your laptop should behave when you shut the lid.
Use the drop-down menus to choose what should happen. You can set different behaviours depending on whether your laptop is plugged into the mains or running on battery power.
Once you’ve chosen the settings you want, just click the Save changes button. That’s it – next time you shut your laptop lid, it’ll do what you told it to.
What are your laptop’s battery settings? Do you have any good battery-saving strategies? Leave a comment to let us know.