Extension offices depend on their server and their network devices to operate well….and server and network devices depend upon electricity to operate well! When there is a planned or unplanned power outage, the staff of Ag IT would like to be notified - and is standing by to help you return to service.

First….a few words about the battery backup/uninterruptable power supply (UPS) that you have.

There are perceptions that they can carry the load for a far longer period than is realistic. Depending on the number of devices connected, and the age of the UPS you should expect it to last 30-45 minutes. Its function is to help bridge brief outages, not to support your work environment during a significant outage.

When there is a loss of power, the UPS will beep incessantly. Some of the newer, larger models do have a silence button (look for the icon of a microphone with a slash through it), others do not. If you silence the UPS it continues to function without driving you mad. If you have a model without a silence button, you may turn off the UPS - but there are consequences to that. A UPS that runs itself out of battery and shuts down will recognize the return of power and start up again. A UPS that you turn off manually will stay off until you manually turn it back on again.

Any number of times this document will encourage you to call us - - rather than adding the phone number each time we'll note here that we can be reached at 814-865-1229. We have evening and weekend telephone answering services, so you can call during off-hours and specify a power outage and the operators should pass that information to on-call staff.

Planned and Announced Power Outage

As soon as you know a date and approximate time of a planned power loss, please call or send email to let us know. We'll want to know what time on what day, and who should be our contact to work with in the office that day. We will work with you to schedule a gentle (often called graceful) power-down of your server and network devices. This will also allow us to pre-plan the return of service and to make sure that we have staff available when power is restored to help you power the devices back on.

Our department will help you power-down the server and network components. Local staff should plan to power off their computers and monitors, copiers and printers. While there is a small advantage to having the server and network equipment up and running before restarting personal computers, printers and copiers there is no harm to impatient people getting back to work faster than the electronics do.

Unplanned Outages

We have already divided this document into planned and unplanned power outages, and now we'll divide again and cover unanticipated outages when you have staff in the office, and unplanned outages overnight/weekends.

If you are in the office when you lose power for more than just a momentary blip, please give us a call. As mentioned above, your UPS device may only last 30-45 minutes, and during that window we may still be able to remotely connect to your devices and power them down gently. If your building managers require an evacuation of the building when there is no power, we'd still appreciate a cell-phone call so that we can try to work remotely for you. Additionally, some of our network monitoring services may alert us to your loss of networking, and we'd be wondering where you went! And knowing that your power is down can help us plan with you to return to service when electricity has been restored.

If you walk into the office in the morning and discover that power is or has been off, the first order of business is to get the coffeemaker up and running. Then give us a call. If your power is on we can work together to restore service - if it is not on, we can at least start planning for when it does return.

If power is off long enough, the UPS will run out of battery and turn itself off. When this happens, the other devices shut down due to lack of power as well. When electricity is restored to the UPS it is smart enough to turn itself back on, and several pieces of your network equipment may also restart themselves when they detect a return of power. Your server will not restart itself. You can restart it on your own by pushing the power button, or you can call us, and we'll step you through the process and watch it remotely. If you restart the server please remember that it can easily take over ten minutes for a server to become functional after it is powered on. Even if things appear to be working for you, after a loss please give us a call so that we can remotely check the status of your devices.

As with power return after a planned outage, there is a small advantage to having the server and network pieces up and running before individual computers, printers and copiers, but it is not essential.

Summary Bullets

  • Anytime you have a planned or unplanned power interruption of more than a few minutes we would like for you to contact Ag IT so that we can help you shut down your server and network devices in an orderly manner, or at least help you return to service when power is restored - contact us at 814-815-1229.
  • If you discover that power was interrupted and restored outside of working hours it is possible that your network has also returned to service, but not your server. You can press the button and start the server, or you can call us and we'll help you get it started and monitor its return to service remotely. If you choose to restart it, note that the server has a 10 minute or more startup process before becoming fully functional again.
  • If you have manually turned off your UPS/battery backup, then you will need to turn it on again. If the UPS shut itself down when they battery died, it will turn on again when power is restored.
  • It is best if the network equipment and the server are returned to service before the desktop computers, printers and copiers - but is not essential.