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DoIT installs new power system to avoid outages

July 8, 2014

A new system to avoid power outages on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus like the one that occurred on June 18 has been installed, according to the university’s Division of Information Technology (DoIT).

The new uninterruptible power supply (UPS) went online during the last weekend in June. The equipment is expected to protect the campus’s main data center from power fluctuations and outages.

The new system was prompted after a large power surge caused an internal failure of the campus’s UPS just before 8 a.m. on June 18. Multiple UW–Madison services, such as WiscMail, wireless Internet and Learn@UW, were unavailable throughout the day. All systems were restored by 9:17 a.m. on June 19.

An investigation is continuing into why the UPS failed to cut over to commercial power, and a comprehensive post-incident review will be initiated in the coming weeks to consider ways to prevent a reoccurrence. Experts have concluded that when it failed, the data center was unable to access the generator or available utility power as designed. Equipment and campus systems, however, were not damaged.