Did you witness the short power outage across Birmingham this week?  Did it cause you any problems?  If so, then it’s a sharp reminder to sit back and assess your plan when it comes to loss of power.  A simple measure to at least protect your critical business equipment from power ‘blips’ is to install a UPS.

What is a UPS?

A UPS, or Uninterruptible Power Supply, is a necessity for any business running Servers and other mission critical devices.  It is important that these devices have a constant source of clean power to help limit damage caused by the following types of power issues:

  1. Power Outage
    This is a complete loss of power from the source (fuse board, substation or supplier).  A UPS will provide short-term power from its internal battery instantaneously in order to keep your devices up and running.  How long the battery lasts depends on the electrical draw from the connected devices and the condition of the UPS batteries.  Most mainstream UPS’s allow you to script a ‘proper’ shutdown of your devices before the battery runs out.  This needs planning and testing to ensure that enough time is left to do this safely.
  2. Power Surge
    A power surge, or spike, is a sudden increase in voltage or current commonly caused by lightning strikes or tripped circuit breakers.  A UPS is able to correct these issues without transferring them to the connected devices.
  3. Power Sag
    A power sag, sometimes referred to as a ‘Brownout’, is a sudden dip in power.  You will likely see lights dim or flicker when this happens.  Power Sags can also be potentially harmful to unprotected devices.  Again, a UPS is able to correct these issues by delivering a constant flow of clean power to the connected devices.

A Single Large UPS vs Many Smaller UPS’s

I’ve seen companies have a single large UPS that provides power to all of the equipment in their server room.  Whilst it’s good to have this kind of protection in place, it also acts as a single point of failure should the UPS itself develop a fault.  In most cases, it is considered best practice to install more smaller UPS’s and where Servers with multiple power supplies are concerned, have each power supply connected to a different UPS.  This way, should a UPS fail for any reason, your Server stays online.  This is called a 2N setup or N+N.

Don’t end up having unnecessary downtime or have to replace equipment just because you didn’t take the simple steps to protect it.  2LOGIC can size up and supply a UPS for you should you require one.  Call us on 01902 213 990 or email info@2logic.co.uk for more information.