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New APC Survey reveals that 57% of ICT professionals fear their businesses are inadequately protected against future power events

London, England, July 26th 2004 – Despite the extensive power outages which wreaked chaos in North America and affected most of Europe last summer, nearly 60 per cent of IT professionals are unconvinced that their networks are adequately protected from future outages, according to a recent survey carried out on behalf of American Power Conversion (APC).

The research fieldwork was carried out in May 2004 and drew over 300 responses from IT-decision makers at all levels including CIOs, IT directors, IT managers and facilities managers. Its findings include that just over half of the respondents (50.3%) were concerned about the state of the National Grid, whilst 64.3 per cent of respondents revealed that their business had experienced a power outage in the last 12 months.

The survey follows warnings that the UK is seriously in danger of over using electricity supplies. In the recent BBC2 documentary, “If the Lights Go Out” (10 March 2004), Professor Ian Fells, a key energy advisor to the government, warned that power failures will become more common-place as the National Grid fails to cope with the increasing demand for power. It is widely anticipated that such power shortages will occur during winter months, but climate change and the increasing use of air conditioning means that the UK could experience US-style outages during the hotter months too.

Michael Adams, APC managing director for UK & Ireland, believes that the results are a cause for concern in the light of an increased awareness of, and spending on business continuity and disaster recovery planning.
“I think these results are a wake up call for many businesses. Gone are the days when companies could just take power for granted and those that do will reap the rewards of such complacency.”

“Trends such as consolidation and compaction, bringing with them the large-scale deployment of multiple racks of ultra-compact blade servers may reduce the demand for data centre real estate, but they dramatically increase heat density and with that, the requirement for forced air cooling. Companies will need to look at the bigger picture, otherwise problems at the physical layer will start to show in equipment failures and reduced availability. For example, a simple question that needs to be asked is have we got the air conditioning system condensers on power back-up along with the servers and switches? It was exactly this situation which saw last years’ power cut bring IT users in cities like New York to their knees.”

He continues, “For APC the network critical physical infrastructure (NCPI) – the physical layer of the network comprising rack, power, cooling and management services, are absolutely essential to high availability. It is clear from the survey results that Business Continuity is a key IT concern, and we would strongly advise companies to revisit their power protection policies in order to safeguard business against downtime.”

APC are offering a free of charge NCPI Vulnerability Assessment designed to help business highlight areas for improvement and advice on how to protect their business. For more information contact APC’s support team on Tel: +44 (0)208 990 6400 or email: supportuk@apcc.com
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About American Power Conversion
Founded in 1981, American Power Conversion (Nasdaq: APCC) (APC) is a leading provider of global, end-to-end infrastructure availability solutions. APC's comprehensive products and services offering, which is designed for both home and corporate environments, improves the availability, manageability and performance of sensitive electronic, network, communication and industrial equipment of all sizes. APC, which is headquartered in West Kingston, Rhode Island, reported sales of $1.46 billion for the year ended December 31, 2003 and is a Fortune 1000, Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 Company.


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