To make it even clearer, many networks are linked to other networks and are interdependent. For example, the electricity grid supplies the energy for the Internet, which in turn controls the power generation infrastructure. If one of the two networks fails, the other one fails as well. Both networks together are much more vulnerable than if they did not depend on each other. Electricity generation and IT are also considered to be the key areas of critical infrastructures, and almost all other critical infrastructures depend on them, so I would like to add some aspects to the impact on the information technology and telecommunications KRITIS sector.
It goes without saying that any computer, other hardware and connected devices that are not battery-backed will fail immediately in the event of a power failure. The example of the Internet node DE-CIX shows that data centers are not necessarily exempt from this. For example, if notebooks, tablets, or other mobile devices continue to run on battery life, they lose access to Software as a Service (SaaS) and other data services, including all Internet-based mail, chat, and phone services, as well as data stored in the cloud when the internet is no longer available. Therefore, it is worth taking a look at what happens in the event of a power outage with telecommunications.
If you are one of the aforementioned people who have already dealt with the issue of energy supply, you will want to bring “uninterruptible power supply (UPS)” or emergency power systems into play by now, but not only the IT sector is extremely different from emergency power supply. but also the TK area is only partially supplied with emergency power and partly not at all.When emergency power systems are available, there is no uniform bridging time, but this varies .And even where fuel reserves are provided for 72 hours, it is unclear Quite apart from that, in case of emergency they have to work under full load in continuous operation and there must be material and personnel available for oil and oil filter changes, which can be ruled out in case of large-scale requirements.
While the mobile networks are still supplied with emergency power, an increased volume of calls as a result of increased communication requirements – especially in urban areas – quickly leads to overloading of microcells and base stations. Base stations, where the cell phones dial in, are supplied with emergency power for up to two hours. Microcells, which should relieve the base stations at consumer centers or cover limited supply gaps, usually have no emergency power supply. At the latest after about two hours, a dial-up into the mobile networks is no longer possible and therefore no mobile access to the Internet more.
In the fixed network, it does not look better. With the now widespread widespread use of IP telephony, the entire telephone infrastructure ultimately hangs on the router, and there is usually no longer a telephony element for the user, which would not be dependent on the power. In principle it does not matter at all
more, which emergency power protection still exists on the network side. Quite apart from the fact that about intermediate outdoor DSL access multiplexer on the roadside are not emergency power.
In the ISDN network, the NTBA network termination could still receive the power for its own operation via the local loop from the central office, as long as the switchboard – depending on the importance of the network node between three and 48 hours – was supplied with emergency power. In emergency mode, even a suitable, emergency-powered and authorized telephone was able to function on an ISDN basic access without being connected to the power supply thanks to remote feed-in. In every other equipment and connection specification, however, landline telephony via a digital ISDN connection at the moment of power failure was at the end.
We usually rely on everything to always work. We do not worry about it anymore. Psychology also speaks of unrealistic optimism. Because we can not imagine what we have not experienced, we do not prepare for it. Even worse, because we have one of the best power supplies in the world, we’ve even been able to reduce our fallback levels. One speaks also of the so-called vulnerability paradox. The safer a system is (or feels), the more crisis-causing an incident occurs, because one simply no longer is accustomed to incidents.
To put it in a nutshell: in principle, we have no understanding of what happens if the electricity is large-scale and longer-lasting. There is no noteworthy preparation for this case and the skills to deal with its consequences are poorly developed. This is also meant by society as a whole.
Maybe I could clarify the dangers that come with it. For many other cases you take out insurance. Or you stock enough copy paper and replacement toner. Why should not you think about how you could arm yourself for a major power outage when your entire business depends on power?
Since you have no influence on reducing the risks of power supply, you only have to mitigate the impact. And only for yourself or your company. At best, you can also get your customers to take specific action so that the product and service chain stays up to the end customer and it depends on their infrastructure whether they can access it or not.
To anticipate: there is no magic formula, but only individual, tailor-made solutions that depend on the structure, the processes, the requirements, but also the possibilities of a company.