UPS, no not the brown shirts

I was picking up some computer related components a few weeks back and happened across the isle where they keep their single workstation Uninterupted Power Supplies (UPS). Basically, they are a battery backup for your PC that also cleans up the power being fed to it which adds longevity to the power supply (PSU) in your computer and other devices. In addition, being a battery, it can power your system for a short period when the power grid suddenly goes poof so you have a little time to save your work and power your system off cleanly. It also comes with software to do the shutdown automatically for you. The personal, single workstation ones are easy to recognize in the field or under someone’s desk, they basically look like an over-sized/bulky power strip.

When I’m building out servers or a network, I’m usually specing out a UPS to go with each component (servers, switches, etc) unless they already have them. It just makes common sense, especially out here, where the power can be funky at times… particularly during the rainy season, where not only are the voltages and sine waves all over the place, but so is the actually presence of electricity.

Servers and network equipment such as switches aren’t the only electronic devices that need power protection though. Workstations are far too often overlooked, mine included *sheepish grin*. So since they had a nice sale going on and I’d been admonishing myself for playing Russian Roulette with PG&E for longer than I would ever recommend, I finally picked one up for my own system. APC brand of course.

The one that I picked up will give me roughly 12-15 minutes with the current load I have on it. I could calculate it down to the second like I do when spec-ing them out for servers but I dont need to because somewhere in that range is plenty for my needs. And honestly, I prefer to be paid good money when doing that kind of math. The key though, is to strike a balance, because over buying would almost be as silly as not buying at all.

So why wouldn’t I pay even more to get more uptime? Because a UPS isn’t meant for you to continue running your system while you’re waiting for the power to come back on. It’s sole purpose is to protect your powered devices from the big bad ugliness of the power grid.

If you don’t have a UPS shielding your system from the angry ghosts of all those dead dinosaurs flowing in on that wire I would highly recommend you consider making the investment. That is, unless the idea of losing at the technology equivalent of Russian Roulette appeals to you. You can put it off, as even I did, but eventually the chamber will be full when your turn comes around and it’s a messy affair when it does.

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~ by ghendar on August 28, 2010.

One Response to “UPS, no not the brown shirts”

  1. TED WAS STILL UP WHEN I READ YOUR POWER ADVISE. MINE IS COVERED BY THE CME. MISS YOU GUYS IN CA AND HOPE YOU ARE ALL WELL

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