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Keep the Juice Flowing

OK, so youve just invested in the latest and greatest servers, upgraded your operating systems, implemented your raid arrays, and transferred your mission-critical data across to the piece of technology that is going to drive your business forward over the next two years.

But let’s hope you’ve stored a few candles and a box of matches beside the keyboard! Today's businesses rely more than ever before on technology, which in itself relies on one thing – electricity!

Events last summer in the U.S., in Italy, and in the U.K. cities of Birmingham and London brought home the very real threat of massive electricity blackouts. A committee of Parliamentarians in the U.K. recently warned of potential problems with Britain’s aged and straining National Grid network.

Government advisors referred to it as a “clapped out” system that is nearing the end of its 40-year life span and is too dependent on imported gas for electricity generation. This risk is further compounded by the increased danger from terrorist attack to the pipelines. There is talk of the U.K. being under-supplied with electricity as early as 2006.

The official report of energy company National Grid Transco also raises some alarming questions. It explains that the power failure that took out a large part of the U.K. capital was the combination of two separate failures occurring at the same time – something that Transco appears to believe is a very rare occurrence, as all the elements of the supply should be “redundant” or, in other words, an automatic backup should exist in the event of a failure.

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