Power Outages & rePOR - What Should You Do?
When Depots become reliant on their POR systems for daily operations, a power outage can mean that everything stops. It’s important to plan ahead and minimize the impact to your Depot when a power outage occurs.
Some areas of the province are more prone to thunderstorms and frequent power outages during parts of the year, but all Depots should be prepared for an outage.
It’s not just the outage that you need to be thinking about; the outage will often end with a power surge, which can damage your hardware. Preventative measures will save you money, time, and grief long-term.
Read on for some tips on:
Protecting against surges
Getting a battery backup
Backing up your data
What to do after an outage
Protect against surges
The first thing that you should check is whether or not your hardware is plugged into a surge protector. Surge protectors are widely available, and there are many affordable options. However, be sure to consider where this item will be placed in your Depot; is there a chance that liquid, excessive dust, or other matter will be coming into contact with it? It is worth investigating the best option for your location rather than getting the cheapest surge protector.
Ideally, every POR station will be plugged into a surge protector. While this can add up in a Depot with more than a couple of stations, the alternative of potentially having to repair or replace POR hardware is far more expensive.
Get a battery backup
When a power outage occurs, a battery backup, or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can keep you operational for a short period of time. This might get you through the outage completely, or it may give you opportunity to finish off what you were working on, and shut things down properly to prevent any damage from a power surge.
Often, battery backups come in a combo with a surge protector. Sometimes these will have several sockets specifically to draw on battery when needed, and others that are only using the surge protector portion. This means that not every piece of equipment will be drawing on the battery in the case of a power outage. For instance, your customer screen might be less essential in a power outage than your touch screen monitor, and may not need to take up a spot in your battery backup.
Be aware that the battery in one of these units does typically have a lifespan of about 3 - 5 years, depending on its usage. When the battery is nearing its end of life, usually it will have a warning signal to let you know. When this happens, you may have an option to replace only the battery component, or you can replace the entire unit.
Back up your data
If you use your POR computers for other purposes, such as a regular office computer, you should be thinking about how you could access files and information if your computer becomes inaccessible.
There are multiple methods that can be explored to backup your data. There is a backup of your rePOR data happening all the time. Your local server is creating a backup file on that computer, but it is also sending data to a rePOR cloud server so that your data can be recovered if your server fails. Cloud storage providers such as Dropbox or OneDrive are similar in providing a secure place for your important files to reside if your computer crashes.
We recommend looking into the different ways that you can manage data storage and to find the one that works best for you. There are free plans for some services, up to a certain storage limit.
How does a power outage impact rePOR?
When there is an unexpected power interruption, your computer may not start all of its background service normally when power is restored. This can include the service that’s essential for rePOR to operate properly.
When power comes back on, give the server a few minutes to start up all the background services before you open rePOR. If you open rePOR and get an error, then refer to this article on how to restart the Depot Server service.
It is also possible that printers or other devices that are shared between your computers on the same network may be affected. Network and printer issues are outside of the ABDA’s support of rePOR and should be diagnosed and resolved by your local IT support. Some tips that you can follow to help get your printers back up and running will be added shortly.