An uninterruptible power supply or uninterruptible power source (UPS) is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source or mains power fails. A UPS differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator in that it will provide near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions, by supplying energy stored in batteries, supercapacitors, or flywheels. The on-battery run-time of most uninterruptible power sources is relatively short (only a few minutes) but sufficient to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment. (Source Wikipedia – UPS)
In the case of a complete power failure your equipment uses the battery to run which means you can safely keep working for a while and more importantly your computer, server or NAS can be safely shut down. Specially if you are working in 3rd world countries where power shortage is a common problem your business can suffer if you don’t have any alternative arranged. Furthermore, in the case of a sudden surge and/or sudden fluctuation in the main power supply the UPS will protect your equipment and continue to supply power at the correct voltage. During extreme weather condition lightning storms, heavy rains etc. this becomes very important and helps to protect your equipment.
What UPS is right for your business?
When installing a UPS, it is very important to have the right one. A server might take as long as 30 minutes to shut down if it has updates awaiting installation whereas a computer is only likely to need just 5 minutes’ maximum. The amount of power used depends on the type of equipment being used and how long you need power for.
It is also necessary to have a single UPS for each piece of equipment that needs to be shut down safely, this is because the UPS will “talk” with software on the computer or server and automatically initiate a shutdown process if the battery reaches a critical charge. This ensures your equipment shutdown is done safely even if you are not there.
The cost of a UPS can be as very small for a basic office computer through to several thousand for a server with a high load, it depends on the capacity of the UPS and equipment installed along with it.
In an IT Company UPS can be used for:
- Server – definitely, this is a key component in your business infrastructure and needs protecting.
- Network Attached Storage devices (NAS) – definitely, these are very sensitive to power fluctuations.
- Desktop computers – It would be great to add one to every PC but in reality I would recommend you protect those that are critical in the business.
- Networking equipment – If your business depends on the Internet and you carry out a lot of online work then it is worthwhile adding a single UPS to protect all of this equipment.
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