Saturday, November 22, 2008

5 tips for startups for handling the power situation

Recently we have had a few power outages in our office at Pune. After about 3 days of facing the crisis, I had to find a solution for this problem. Following are 5 tips for startups for handling the power situation. These tips are specifically for early stage startups.

  1. USE LAPTOPS INSTEAD OF DESKTOPS – this is pretty much a no brainer. Laptops consume about 100 watts of power, while desktops consume 500 watts. Apart from the other obvious benefits I recently found out that – you can pretty much lie down on a bean-bag and still work on a laptop. This was after we bought a few bean bags in the office.

  2. USE VIRTUAL MACHINES – this is one of the coolest ideas. Instead of buying 4 low powered machines buy one powerful machine and make 4 virtual machines out of it. So, an example configuration would be 2 x Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® processor E5410 + 16GB RAM + 1TB HDD – split it 4-ways to make into 4 powerful 2-core servers. Pretty awesome, 4 physical machines would consume 2000W power, while the 2xXeon would consume about 500-600W.

  3. INSTALL A “TRUE ONLINE SINEUPS” – these are much more powerful than regular inverter/UPS. They are costly, yet worth every penny. This has much more battery power than a regular inverter/UPS, and can last much longer. They come in 6KVA, 8KVA and 10KVA, on the smaller side.

  4. SEPARATE OUT THE BACKUP FOR SERVERS, laptops and fans/lights - The problem with that is – it adds another point of failure because of more failing parts. You don’t want to hear UPS’ beeping all day in your office.

  5. MOVE TO A FULLY FURNISHED OFFICE that has generator backup – These cost upwards of Rs. 70 per sqft. Pretty high cost for a startup.

To summarize, tips 1, 2 and 3 are the really feasible options.

Got more ideas? Have questions? Send me a message on facebook or Twitter or send me an email at mukul dot kumar at pubmatic dot com .

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:03 AM  
Blogger Pranav said...

Nice list. Here are my 2 cents -
- If (1) is not possible, then make sure you buy/rent LCD monitors. They run much longer on the UPS and do not cause a power surge when turned on.
- If ACs/fans/coolers do not have backup then, make sure that rooms have enough ventilation. Given that startups do not generally start off with a lot of space; without forced ventilation, the room starts getting hot with all the machines blowing out heat.
- As far as possible, avoid running printers on the UPS (our UPS guy told this).

7:16 AM  

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